RAPID CITY, SD (KEVN) – Running water has become a familiar sound in Todd Gregson’s classroom, where he teaches students about hydroponic gardening. The class began putting the garden together in April, helping to transform the formal school grounds into a peaceful space for students to enjoy.
“It’s a great place for kids to come out and read, they have donated chairs and benches here. So, it’s more than just a garden, it’s a place for kids to learn,” said Hermosa Elementary and Middle School Principal Frosty Parris.
In addition to having a unique looking garden at school, the ultimate goal is for students to learn how to grow their own garden at home.
“The students, a lot of them, don’t know what it takes to grow up,” said Hermosa Elementary and Middle School Professional Todd Gregson.
What is hydroponic gardening?
According to Gregson, hydroponic gardening involves growing plants in a nutrient-rich solution without any soil. This means that it is usually based on water. Hydroponic gardens can grow plants all year round.
According to The Spruce, this makes hydroponics better than soil in several ways:
- Plants have a high yield
- In fact, water is used less than a normal garden, because water does not travel through the soil
- Weeds are not a problem
- Plants can grow anywhere
But with the advantages come some disadvantages-
- It can be expensive to build
- Regular monitoring is required to ensure that the system is working properly
- Plants are very susceptible to waterborne diseases
- Roots are vulnerable without soil
Student experience in hydroponic gardening
Along with planting, the children learned not only how to harvest their crops, but also how to use them by making different types of jam with the crops.
“When we can give kids hands-on experience, it’s something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives,” Gregson said.
Gregson’s co-teacher, who began the journey with the children in April, added that watching the students grow has been an amazing experience.
“It’s like metaphor, you start with a little seed, and it grows into this big, beautiful thing and it’s like them. I mean, it’s only week four and they know a lot.” said Hermosa Elementary and Middle School teacher Bree McMahon.
A hydroponic garden is planned to move indoors in late fall and early winter.
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