Fresh Take Blog

Gardening In The Classroom With Indoor Grow Labs

By Anna Moore  |  Feb. 26, 2024

The Ins and Outs of Growing Indoors

During the winter months, FoodPrints gardens are mostly dormant. However, that doesn’t mean we stop planting seeds and growing food. We bring our gardens inside the classroom to create FoodPrints “grow labs” with the help of grow lights that mimic sunlight and hydroponic systems that use a water-based nutrient solution instead of soil. The grow labs provide hands-on experiences with plant science year-round. They also allow students to take a closer look at the beginning of a plant’s life cycle until they are planted in the garden in the spring.

Grow Labs At FoodPrints Schools

Our teachers guide students through starting seeds and learning the specific care needed to grow plants indoors. Inside all 21 of our partner schools, we are planting spring and fast-growing crops in the classroom.

At Francis Stevens School Without Walls, 1st graders plant cilantro and kale in their grow lab. At Amidon-Bowen and CW Harris, students care for their pea plants, continuing to check in on them throughout the school day. Malcolm X, our newest partner school, started their first hydroponic system this year. “Malcolm X is up and running!” shared lead FoodPrints teacher Ms. Marylinn, excited to start seeds with her students.

We are proud to provide indoor and outdoor growing spaces at our partner schools, and view it as essential in order to provide experiences growing food year-round. FoodPrints teachers are expanding their knowledge to learn the ins and outs of indoor growing as part of their professional development, and they are excited to share it with their students. Both students and teachers are delighted to be able to keep growing in the winter, and look forward to the spring when our outdoor gardens will bloom again!

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