Justin Weaver, who teaches a class in West Shore's aquaponics lab, pointed out a new plant variety for local restaurant owner Victoria Close, who came to the lab to buy greens for her salads.
"That's a new type of sorrel," he said, as she takes a bite of the leaf on Tuesday, Dec. 3, testing its flavor.
Close, owner of Crostwater Distilled Spirits, in Fairview Township, just started buying from the district's Introduction to Aquaponics class of about 50 students from Red Land and Cedar Cliff high schools last month.
She and Weaver had met at her restaurant, where a conversation about talking to students about how to use sustainable ingredients led her to ask about buying them.
"Crostwater is a farm-to-table restaurant," she said. "Our menu changes weekly," so there's always a need for fresh produce.
The lab has about 20 varieties of plants, including fig, banana and peach trees; and Close is buying Swiss chard and different types of lettuce and microgreens.