US (PA): Agriculture secretary visits hydroponics program at Chester High School

A pilot hydroponic garden program at Chester High School became part of a state-wide tour by Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding this week celebrating the state’s successes for Urban Agriculture Week, writes Kathleen E. Carey for the Daily Times.

“Our goal is to look at urban agriculture, at what’s happening, but also how to keep improving and strengthening our support for their efforts,” Redding said. The Ruth Bennett Community Farm in Chester was also visited by the secretary, as well as sites in Montgomery County.

At Chester High, students are growing from seed rows of echinacea, tomatoes, and collard greens at the school’s 3,000-square-foot Think and Grow Ag Lab. The garden program will transition to full-time classes next year.

Students are also taught how to preserve what they grow through dehydrating and freeze-drying. A 3-D printer helps students grow hemp products like hempcrete, a fire-resistant, mold-resistant, and pest-resistant substance that grows 10 times faster than timber.

“We’re trying to find the way to get the best value out of existing materials and existing skills to keep people eating healthy foods for a lifetime to come,” said Mark Green, co-founder of the Think and Grow Ag Lab. Read more about urban agriculture at Chester High and a visit from Russell Redding in the Daily Times.

Read the entire article at Delco Today

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