Gwaltney School Establishes Hydroponic Garden



At Jackson-Feild’s Gwaltney School, we are developing an ongoing greenhouse and hydroponic garden program to educate and involve students in a practical hands-on learning project that will be not only safe, but fun-filled and therapeutic as well!

Most of our residents have never been involved in a gardening experience. They’ve never felt the pleasure of watching seeds grow into lush plants or enjoyed the satisfaction of picking – and eating – ripe fruits and vegetables that they grew themselves.  In this year-round program, students will participate in greenhouse projects and a hydroponic garden during the cooler months, and a conventional outdoor garden during warmer months.  The produce grown will be used in our food occupation vocational training program in which students receive culinary training towards earning their ServSafe certification. It will also be used by our kitchen staff for meals.

This program provides tangible learning opportunities including quantitative metrics needed to manage a hydroponic garden such as measuring pH levels, determining electrical conductivity water levels, and identifying plants & flowers. The goal of the program is for students to earn their certification in plant science and – hopefully – develop a lifelong interest in gardening.

We’re excited to begin this program, and everyone on campus is looking forward to a really good homegrown tomato sandwich this summer!