Killingly High School breaks down how adding a ‘hydroponics’ and ‘aquaponics’ class encourages sustainability

"The future holds us growing plants in warehouses"

At Killingly High School over the past few years, they’ve truly enhanced their Agriculture Education Program by adding a hydroponics and aquaponics class to help encourage sustainability.  

Beth Knowlton is a plant science teacher at Killingly and has been for about fifteen years. “The future holds us growing plants in warehouse buildings and things in inner cities so we can provide a local food source.”  

It’s a unique way of agriculture, that relies solely on the light and water in the greenhouse, using no soil at all. They grow everything from cucumbers to tomatoes and kale. They’re hoping to add to their hydroponics greenhouse, a misting system. They’ll be able to plant strawberries and have their roots continually misted from the inside, helping them grow.  

Just down the hall, Courtney Cardinal teaches her aquaponics students the ways to use fish waste to grow plants. The setup for aquaponics is a little different, plants grow in gravel beds connected to a water source that comes from pools full of tilapia. As the gravel beds fill and drain, the nutrients are brought to the roots of the plants.  

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