Students do spring cleaning on hydroponic towers

Students in Ms. Amy Schwendemann’s Applied Science and Technology class began the spring semester with a little spring cleaning.

The hydroponic wall towers in the cafeteria were shut down in March when schools were closed due to COVID-19. 

“This is the first time since turning them off in March that we had a chance to work on cleaning them,” Schwendemann said.

The whole reason for the process is because new plants will thrive in clean towers instead of what is currently in them.

“We’re scrubbing off nutrients left behind after the water evaporated and removing the roots and plugs,” Schwendemann said. “It’s like going to the beach and having to clean yourself off after you get out of the ocean because you still actually have salt on you after you dry off; it’s the same idea.”

Due to restrictions, the students only ran the hydroponic towers in the E-wing and her classroom last semester. 

Hydroponics refers to growing plants without soil. Students cultivate and harvest different fruits, vegetables and herbs grown in the towers. 

“We were able to grow romaine lettuce, basil, cilantro, dill and onion chives in the fall,” Schwendemann said. “Hopefully this semester we can get back on track with food science and learning more about it.”

The greenhouse at the high school that can be seen from her classroom window is also needing a good clean-up.

“We hope to get back out there soon and start to grow some more things.”


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