Green team growing tower

Growing tower in the media center

Rachel Harmon

Growing tower in the media center

Raquel Ahrens, Writer

If you pay attention when walking past the media center daily, you’ve seen a strange-looking contraption that almost appears to be a spaceship. This Growing Tower belongs to the Green Team, led by Karla Schultz (physical education) and Lynn Schoenbauer (science), and it is a hydroponic garden. This is basically a garden that grows without using soil. Instead of soil, it uses water to replenish the plants regularly. There is water stored in the bottom of the tower that gets pumped up the tower and goes to all the plants. 

The Green Team has implemented these towers to extend the growing season in Minnesota. They are hoping to grow enough plants to be able to use the food they grow in the school cafeteria. Currently, they are growing lettuce plants and are planning on planting microgreens in the future. Microgreens are seedlings of vegetables and herbs that grow much faster than normal vegetables, and they can grow a lot more of them in smaller spaces. 

One of the other hydroponic systems is built a little bit differently than the one in the media center. This one was much less expensive to make and seems to be working just as well as the other tower. It resides in two tubs of water that have little pots with plants in them. It works because the roots of the plants stick out the bottom of the small pots and allow the roots to drink water from the tubs. There are also fluorescent lights on the towers that simulate the sun. They even added fans to simulate the wind. These fans are needed to make the plants grow stronger so they aren’t flimsy and don’t wilt. 

Thanks to the Green Team, students are able to eat food in the cafeteria that’s grown in our own school.