US (MI): School uses indoor farming to teach students to grow their own food

Concord Community Schools students will soon be among the first in Jackson County to use new equipment to grow their own produce.

Concord High School students are using “Flex Farms,” indoor vertical hydroponic farm units provided by the Fork Farms company, to grow fresh food year-round for teachers and other students. The new hydroponic growing equipment was presented to the public during a fresh food farmers market during the district’s open house on Aug. 21.

“It teaches our kids the value of growing their own food and eating healthy, fresh produce, that itself is a skill that will last them a lifetime,” Superintendent Rebecca Hutchinson said. “We want (students) to be ready for life after high school, and that needs to encompass real-world, authentic activities that have applications outside of here.”

Hydroponics is a technique using a water-based nutrient solution to grow plants instead of soil. Students will grow lettuce this year in their first year using the hydroponic farms, adding strawberries, tomatoes, and cucumbers in year two, Alan Breneman, Concord’s director of food services, said. What the students grow will be used for lunches throughout the Concord’s school cafeterias.


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