Since we are an American Heart Association Teaching Garden, there are many perks that go along with that. This Fall, we got to pilot the Tower Garden for their Teaching Garden program. Typically the Tower Garden is used outside. Since there are many schools that can't have outdoor gardens, we are trying this system indoors, next to great big windows with full sun.
If you have ever been to Epcot in Florida, you may have seen their enormous hydroponic garden. The hydroponic system that we are using was invented by the same man who created the system for Disney. It is a pretty amazing system and yet another way to teach our kids to think outside the box, while working on gardening.
We have learned that some things grow as they should and others don't. For example, cucumbers do great, but tomatoes don't. The kids have decided that tomatoes probably need pollinators (like bees) to produce fruit. This is what they came up with, not me. The Master Gardeners who visited this week shared with us that the real reason is that the temperature isn't warm enough in our hallway for them to set fruit. It is really amazing to see the knowledge that the kids acquire from the farm! They have also become big fans of cucumbers, which is a good thing because we were producing them by the dozen.
We are currently starting our second round of crops in our hydroponic garden. We can see what happens with warmer temperatures and tomatoes. More learning on its way!