Mountain View High School is planting seeds to encourage the next generation of farmers. Hydroponics have made its way into family and consumer sciences with the goal of providing youth with unique agricultural experiences related to gardening, animal agriculture, nutrition, STEM integrations, and leadership development.

Ashlee Painter teaches family and consumer sciences. She brought in aerogardens to teach agriculture in culinary arts.

“I’ve always been really interested in making a farm-to-table approach, but my classroom is right smack-dab in the middle of the school, so I have no windows, so this allows me to be able to grow items indoors — where my kids can have like the full experience of growing from farm to table,” Painter said.

Hydroponics show that plants grow five times faster in water than in soil and can be placed more closely together. The garden uses less space and less water than traditional growing methods. Because the plants are grown indoors, there is no need for pesticides or herbicides.