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Go Green: School Grows Its Own Food

Some students at the Harley School are growing vegetables to put on the lunch room tables all year round.
Some students at the Harley School are growing vegetables to put on the lunch room tables all year round. 

At the Harley School in Brighton, learning happens in many different ways. For several years, students have been using the school's micro-farm to grow fresh vegetables for school lunches. Now, they have a greenhouse to continue the effort year-round.

"I figured it would be a good thing to do to expand the garden," Corey Beale said.

Corey Beale started the project more than two years ago, and with the help of other students it is now open for business.

"It really has been nice to start it and have it finally be working and functioning and having the lower school help and middle school help; and have it be a part of Harley means a lot," he said.

So far, several different crops have been planted inside. 

"We have Bok Choi, we've got spinach, we have lettuce, we have I think scallions; it's great," Helen Stern said.

"We wanted to see how many months around the year we could get salad in the salad bar that is actually home-grown Harley; and when it gets cold out, we can't exactly plant it out in the field. So we built the greenhouse so we could have it in the winter. We have something like 850 heads of lettuce planted so it is going pretty good so far," Jack Gumina said.

The students are not just learning about planting inside the greenhouse. There is also a solar power system here as well.

"The kids involved in this project have been farming as much as becoming carpenters and learning how to build this greenhouse; plumbers to get our solar-powered irrigation system going and electricians just getting this stuff going. So they've really had a chance to innovate, build and learn in so many different ways," Chris Hartman said.

They are also learning just how much work goes into putting food on the table. 

"It really shows how much work farmers do and people just don't realize that and know where food comes from," John Papin said.
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