Grantee Blog

Winter Is Coming: Incorporating Indoor Growing Techniques and STEM into the School Garden

With the start of Fall already here, we’re planning ahead for colder weather in November to be able to continue doing some indoor garden projects with the Garden Squad from Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Asbury Park.  Our plans are to work on some indoor growing projects with the students, including introducing the students to two different types of hydroponic methods.  

One hydroponic method will include using a “low-tech” hydroponic system in large ball jars, and the second method will include building a “high-tech” hydroponic tote to grow greens over the winter.  For both hydroponic systems, we will germinate seeds in rock wool in small terrariums with grow lights. In these systems, the Garden Squad will plan to grow spinach, several different types of lettuce, kale, mustard greens, basil, and cilantro.  The projects will be a great mix of gardening and food education, hands-on building and construction experience, and a chance for all of the students in the Garden Squad to get a first-hand look at STEM concepts in action.

We will also continue to focus on educating the students about food security, the importance of local food systems, growing a low carbon footprint garden, and most importantly – how to cook delicious food with the produce they are growing!

About the Grantee

Project U.S.E.

Project U.S.E. is an experiential education organization based in Newark, New Jersey with over 40 years of experience providing hands-on learning experiences for groups of all ages and backgrounds. Project U.S.E. provides diverse programming, including school and community gardening, professional development workshops, and outdoor education programs at our Wildcat Mountain Wilderness Center.