LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Some local fourth graders are learning lessons in gardening that has them growing produce which is helping feed fellow students and school staff.
At Little Rock’s Episcopal Collegiate School their science classroom boasts a hydroponic garden.
It’s tended by five students who give up their recess time for all the upkeep. Sullivan, Eden, Hattie, Laney and Kate are known as the great green garden girls.
“Ms. Bridges first got the system. We asked if we could volunteer. It just kinda came about,” explains Laney Hunter. “Hydroponic means it grows with no soil…just sunlight, plant food, water and seeds.”
“Since we have the artificial sunlight and fertilizer inside the cups and water, the fertilizer and water acts as soil,” she continues.
“There’s these little holes in the plastic part and we put cups in there and it has the spongy thingy and we put a seed in and it goes down there and you let it saturate,” adds Kate Hurst.
Six weeks after planting, the seeds grow into a full head of hydroponic lettuce.
“We have to pull the roots off and take the cup off and usually we make the great lettuce mountain or we call it mount lettuce,” says one of the student gardeners.
Once their mountain is made, the great green garden girls head out.
“You can see how much it is. We pack it in here. We will get two per bucket and one with the mini bucket and we take it to the lower school cafeteria,” they say.
The hydroponic system was a donation from the first students to go through the lower school at Episcopal after their graduation a few years ago.