You may be hearing buzz around the District and are asking yourself, what is a Tower Garden? Tower Gardens are a vertical, aeroponic growing system, compact in design, and contain a closed-loop technology system.  This technology allows you to grow up to 20 vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers in less than three square feet – indoors or outdoors. Because this system allows you to grow plants indoors using special grow lights, with no dirt, we have incorporated hands-on learning into our curriculum in collaboration with Child Nutrition Services and the ESE Department. Tower Gardens grow up to 3 times faster and produce 30% greater yields than the average garden, and we do not have to worry about pests and disease.

We are honored to be able to support this project through our Farm to School Award. This gives our students the opportunity to learn where their food is from, understand the entire growing process, and sample what is grown.  Schools incorporate items into their kitchens so students can eat what has been harvested.  The hope is that students then go home to share what they have tried and/or seen growing in the Tower Garden and have an entire family eating healthier together.

Treasure Coast High School is the first pilot in the District to use Tower Gardens. Ms. Nelson’s students have done a wonderful job setting up the garden, watering it daily, maintaining healthy ph levels for optimal growing, and will soon be transplanting the wool cubes into the system. We are hoping to continue our partnerships with the remaining high schools and have Tower Gardens purchased for the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.

The Farm to School Award also supports outdoor gardens, nutrition education, community and student culinary events, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, cooking classes, and much more! To find out more, please contact Stacy Donnelly, Farm to School Specialist, at stacy.donnelly@stlucieschools.org | 772-200-7148.