Golden Apple: Nisswa Elementary Students Learn How To Garden Right From Their Classroom

Nisswa Elementary students are learning about hydroponics by using planting pods to grow vegetables right in their classrooms. Sourcewell donated garden towers so that second grade students could get hands-on learning experience on how to grow a garden.

“Our goal is to bring in technology, and different equipment that students might not normally have their hands on. Within the last month to two months, we went into schools and we started the planting process with them. We told them about the garden tower, how they work, how they can take care of it, and now they’re getting to the point to be able to harvest from them,” said Sourcewell Consultant Rachel Johnson.

“So, we bring these towers in and the base is the reservoir with water, and we walk students through planting. They use rock wool cubes instead of soil to plant in and we cover it with vermiculite, and it takes about two to three weeks to start seeing some growth and within about six weeks, a lot of schools were able to start harvesting,” added Johnson.

It takes a couple months for the plants to grow to full size, and after the growth process, teachers harvest the plants so that student can have a salad party.

“We had all kinds of different toppings, and they came up with the ideas. There were two kinds of dressings, and then they were able to go through and put what they wanted in their bowl. Most kids tried everything, except for the bok choy which was not a favorite, but there was hardly any that went in the garbage, they loved it and they’re asking when we can do it again,” said Nisswa Elementary Second Grade Teacher Kelly Gubrud.

Teachers plan to continue the salad parties because students are more inclined to try the leafy greens when they can pick their own toppings.

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By — Chantelle Calhoun

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