The Farmstand is a 36 plant hydroponic grow tower https://www.lettucegrow.com/shop#shop-farmstands and I would like to purchase three additional towers for Tahoe Lake Elementary. Our PTO sponsored the purchase of one for the 3rd grade classrooms to share and we started producing lettuces and other vegetables in February. Learning about plant life cycles is a standard across most of the elementary grade curriculum. What better way to understand this process than actually growing your own food from seedling to harvest? Tahoe Lake is a very long, stretched out school, so we would like to have a Farmstand in each section of the school so it is visible and frequently accessible to all of our students. One Farmstand would go in our greenhouse where other science activities occur weekly. Another one will be placed in the library which all students visit weekly and a final one in our cafeteria. Kelly Frankenberg, our food service provider, is so excited to grow greens that she can serve our students.
Besides learning about plant life cycles and watching the plants grow, the students are learning to take responsibility for caring and maintaining the Farmstand. Weekly, the students check and record the pH of the water and adjust the chemicals accordingly, add nutrients to the water, monitor the water level, check the health of the plants, record changes to plant size and determine if it’s time to harvest. A final benefit is kids are actually seeing how a plant goes from seedling to their plates! There is often a disconnect between how final food products end up in the grocery store. Our 3rd grade students are so excited to make and eat the first salad with lettuce that we grew!