A group of young residents of the Astoria Houses NYCHA held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting on Monday to celebrate the opening of an indoor greenhouse inside the housing complex’s community center. The greenhouse will double as a food source and science lab for children and their families.

The lab, which the nonprofit New York Sun Works built with funding from the New York Power Authority, uses hydroponics to grow crops indoors without any soil and includes seeding stations, a tower garden, hanging vines, and a composting station.

“The Astoria Houses garden is a learning lab that integrates science and sustainability into a fun program that everyone will enjoy,” Lisa Payne Wansley, NYPA’s vice president of Environmental Justice, said in a statement. The greenhouse is expected to grow more than 500 pounds of vegetables per school year.

The harvest will go to residents of the Astoria Houses who participate in programming associated with the greenhouse lab, with surplus produce donated to local soup kitchens. Programs will be available to both children and adults and will include harvest celebrations, cooking demonstrations, urban gardening lessons, and more.

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