How Our Hydroponics Program Works
Green Our Planet’s Hydroponic System Explained
What is Hydroponics?
The word hydroponic is a combination of the Latin words “hydro” which means water and “ponos” which means work. Hydroponics is the process of growing plants without soil. In a hydroponic system, nutrients and supplements are dissolved into water, creating a nutrient solution. The nutrient solution is delivered to plant roots and then captured and recirculated through the system.
Green Our Planet’s Hydroponic System
Green Our Planet’s hydroponic system features a drip recovery style of hydroponics that is water and energy efficient. The systems are mobile so they can be rolled into classrooms or kept in a central location such as a cafeteria, science lab, or other areas.
Currently, a Green Our Planet hydroponics unit can grow approximately 32 heads of lettuce in an 8‘ x 4’ outdoor raised garden bed. However, this two sided hydroponic system has eight vertical planting towers that can grow up to 80 plants. Therefore, one Green Our Planet hydroponic system can grow the same amount of food as two outdoor raised beds.
A wide variety of vegetables can be grown hydroponically in these systems including lettuce, chard, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries and many more. Overall, the systems provide a natural laboratory for students to learn STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) in a hands-on, experiential manner.
What schools will receive with the Green Our Planet Hydroponic Program
Each school will be provided with an eight tower, mobile hydroponic system and all the materials needed to run it. This includes germination trays, LED lights, nutrient fertilizers, pH and TDS (total dissolved solids) measurement meters, etc.
A local Green Our Planet Hydroponic Coordinator will provide training workshops to teachers and students at each school so that they can learn to set up and maintain their hydroponic systems. The Hydroponic Coordinator will also assist with solving any issues a school may have with its system. The coordinator will provide additional mentoring for schools participating in the hydroponic gardening program as needed.
K-5 STEAM hydroponic Curriculum
The K-5 STEAM curriculum provides lessons in different aspects of hydroponics for every grade level.
A hydroponic manual including basic hydroponic operating information, answers to many frequently asked questions, and links to a variety of helpful resources.
A series of how-to-videos created by Green Our Planet will help guide teachers through the process of hydroponic farming. These include troubleshooting videos to help solve any problems that may arise.