Middle school students at Steamm Academy at Hartford in Canton have turned a plot of unused green space into a greenhouse and horticulture program in an effort to make fresh produce more accessible to the neighborhood, which is located in a food desert and high-poverty area.
Students grades 6-8 learn valuable skills such as how to provide healthy food for their families by learning how to successfully grow produce in an urban environment using various methods such as hydroponics and aquaponics.
Aside from students learning agricultural classes, the school’s culinary arts programs has harvested from the greenhouse for different recipes.
Vegetable varieties include lettuce, kale, tomatoes, peppers, catnip, cilantro, basil, oregano, along with landscape plants like coleus, caladiums, impatiens, Cana lilies and sunflowers.
Horticulture teacher Jason Board said the greenhouse has allowed students to take home produce and provide a salad bar for teachers on conference night.
The school plans to partner with local businesses to provide them with produce on a regular basis.
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