University of Minnesota students are encouraging one another to grow their own vegetables — not in a greenhouse or on a plot of land, but in their own apartments and dorms.
The University’s Minnesota Student Association is working to bring vegetables grown in a hydroponic garden, which uses liquid solution rather than soil, to the on-campus food shelf Nutritious U Food Pantry. By promoting hydroponic-grown vegetables, MSA is educating students about hydroponics sustainability in an effort to reduce food insecurity.
“Our ultimate goal is to get this produce [to the Nutritious U Food Pantry and] also educate students who come to the pantry [about] what we are doing and hopefully offer them a chance to get involved,” said Sai Powar, director of MSA’s sustainability committee, the group spearheading the project.
The committee hopes to begin planting the vegetables at a St. Paul campus greenhouse by the end of January, with the first round of vegetables grown by the end of March. Because the project is in its beginning stages, MSA is starting with lettuce and kale but hopes to plant other leafy greens later.
The hydroponic system MSA plans to use to grow the vegetables was created by Tom Michaels, a University horticultural professor.