The Farm-to-Table movement has arrived inside the Gering School District with the introduction of new hydroponic growing units at the high school, junior high and every elementary school.
A large unit with LED grow lights from Fork Farms of Wisconsin has been installed at the high school, with smaller herb stations at other school buildings.
Taher Food Service Director Mary Carman tells KNEB News the grow stations fit well with the company’s goal of providing the freshest possible produce to serve to students. “Right now we’re growing lettuce, but we can grow peppers, strawberries, or Swiss chard as another example. And the herb stations in the elementary schools right now, we’re doing basic herbs, basil, mint, parsley, but we can probably move to other things too, once the program takes off,” says Carman, “so, it’s kind of in it’s infancy.”
Carman says the company’s partnership with the Gering Schools also has an educational component, with teaching materials provided to classrooms that incorporate the use of the growing stations into a grade-specific science and other curriculum.
Produce grown by the students is already being incorporated into food preparation for the district by Taher staff.