Story by Nathan Cournoyer
At Henry James Memorial Middle School, students are getting the opportunity to learn more about plants and sustainable living.
Sharon Geoghan, Family and Consumer Science Teacher explained the process where using a submersible pump, the water comes up through a plastic column with plants placed in “pockets” on the outside, When it reaches the top, the water goes through something like a shower cap with holes in it and it disperses down and touches all the pods on the sides that have the plants roots hanging down on the inside.
Last year, Geoghan received the Simsbury schools Kathleen Magowan Grant, which provides educational enrichments to Simsbury public schools. Geoghan said, “I applied for the grant because in Italy the Mediterranean diet is based on fresh produce, and so the fresh produce is something that we have in Connecticut but seasonally it’s in the early summer and into the early fall and it just doesn't match with our classes.”
Through the grant, the department has four garden towers that are now used in the classes. Bella Savino, a student at Henry James School, said,” It’s a great activity for the kids because it’s hands-on and you get something out of it. Student Brett Osborn, said, “You don’t even have to prepare it, just take it off and put it into your dish.”
The students are using the vegetables from the tower in their own recipes in class. Geoghan said, “I plan to do a variety of things. We will give away whatever is extra that we harvest. We harvested last week and from two towers alone we had four pounds of fresh vegetables.”
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