Panama Gets Grant For Tower Garden Systems

Kacy Anderson, left, and Whitney Knotts, horticulture students at McCook High School in Nebraska check plant growth at the aeroponic vertical growing towers. Lorri Sughroue/McCook Gazette via AP

Panama Central School fifth- and sixth-graders will soon take part in gardening lessons.

Emily Harvey, Panama director of instruction and special education, discussed the Grow With Us Grant during a recent board meeting.

“I supported and worked with Bridget Lyon (fifth and sixth grade teacher) in applying for a grant from the Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,” Harvey said. “She was looking to get a tower garden. She actually ended up getting the grant. We applied for it and she is getting three tower garden aeroponic systems for fifth and sixth grade.”

The towers do not require soil due to the use of hydroponics, and the hope is to work interesting activities using the towers into the curriculum for the fifth and sixth grade students.

“We will eventually, hopefully work into other grade levels and try to expand it,” Harvey said. “She’s really going to get a handle on having her kids work with it and use it.”

The plan is for the fifth and sixth graders to grow lettuce and potentially get it to the point where something could be shared in the cafeteria.

“We really want to help the kids to understand that there’s an opportunity to expose kids to a variety of healthy foods but then also learn about gardening and harvesting food for themselves,” Harvey said. “We hope the experience can be shared with a bunch of different grade levels and students.”

Harvey said there will also hopefully be a presentation some time next year once things get going.


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