“A Teacher’s Perspective”
(Blog written by Tammy Perkins, 6th grade science teacher at Chapel Hill Academy)
Our Hydroponic Towers and Basil Lemonade!
The arrival of the Tower Gardens generated so much excitement and so many questions from students and faculty alike at Chapel Hill Academy, and the questions have never stopped. The towers were unpacked and students quickly volunteered to build them on April 25th. Initially, plant growth was slow, because our towers were indoors and the grow lights did not arrive until June, but once those lights were added to our towers, our plant growth took off! Everyone noticed how quickly the plants were growing, since our towers are situated in the front hallway of our school, close to the main office. They are quite visible to everyone; so if they are not flourishing or the pump is not working, we quickly hear the news from a multitude of observers. We have started harvesting the herbs and basil lemonade quickly became a favorite. One of the students mentioned trying basil lemonade on vacation. Although many of us were skeptical about this new drink, we were all unanimous in our willingness to try new things. It was a hit! Our future plans include a hydroponic salad supplemented with our outdoor garden vegetables, and a Tower Garden cilantro dressing! We are also looking forward to incorporating the hydroponic towers into our lessons in the new school year focusing on the nutrient requirements of plants, as well as their structure and tropisms. So far, we are enjoying watching the herbs and vegetables grow, harvesting them, cooking with them, and even bringing some home to our families. Students have been even observed grabbing a leaf as they walk by the towers and popping them in their mouth for a quick and healthy snack!
About the Grantee
The Lincoln Park Health Department provides opportunities for people to make the right choices about their health. We accomplish this by partnering with local businesses, schools and organizations.