Forget the 100-mile diet.
Students at the Silverthorne Elementary school will enjoy lunches from just metres away once their indoor aeroponics garden starts producing vegetables. They installed three tower garden systems Dec. 4 and hope to see it produce a variety of crops in the weeks to come.
“We’re putting them together and we have about 90 plants that we’re going to be planting, and we’re hoping it will help sustain our hot lunch program,” said principal Bev Forster. “Mostly we’re going to be doing lettuce because that would be easy to grow.”
They also hope to grow swiss chard, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, green beans and zucchini.
Forster added that the school’s parent advisory committee is also funding a small salad bar to supplement the school’s lunch program.
“I was looking at it last year, and part of it was trying to create something that was sustainable,” said Forster. “I just have a friend who grows them in Kelowna and I just think it’s an amazing product. It’s all self-contained, it’s got the lights and everything. It comes on wheels, it’s moveable. It’s perfect in a classroom.”
“I don’t know of any other schools that are doing it in the District.”
An expert from Kelowna came to the school to setup the towers and plant seedlings last Friday.
Forster hopes that the produce will fully supply the salad bar’s required ingredients.
The total cost of the system is about $3,800. The school raised the money from a $2,500 grant, support from the School District board office and local fundraising.
“If it goes well, we’ll fundraise again for another three, so each classroom grows a garden,” she added.