LE MARS, Iowa (KCAU) – Plenty of schools have gardens, but the one at Le Mars Community High School is a little different.
“We’re kind of a big dill,” says Senior, Christian Koch.
Using the latest in innovative ag technology, students are able to grow vegetables year round and indoors.
Agricultural education instructor, Danielle James says, “Using the hydroponic system we’re growing a diverse array of vegetables and produce and herbs. All that are grown in a water-based substance instead of soil.”
9th grader, Jacob Spencer says, “I learned a lot. At first, I didn’t even really know that this was a thing. I’ve been happy to see it grow.”
And as the plants grow, so does the students understanding of what the future of agriculture could look like.
James explains, “As we look towards trying to provide for a growing population adding in more sustainable practices is really important.”
Going all the way through the farm to fork process, the produce is then harvested and served in the school’s salad bar.
“It’s pretty interesting because I look at the people that are eating salads and I’m like I helped grow that and that feels pretty good,” says Spencer.
A unique learning experience outside of the classroom that lets students get their hands dirty.
10th grader Layla Searo sys, “You don’t really get much experience at school besides learning and this helps pull us away. The hands-on helps expose us a little bit more.”
James says, “We can talk in the classroom we can go over power points, but having the opportunity to get them out here growing the vegetables and herbs themselves, getting their hands dirty, they get to see the entire process and it makes them way more excited about the future of agriculture.”