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Ballard 2nd Graders Watch Plants Grow in Garden
By WestKyStar & Ballard County Schools Staff
LaCENTER, KY - Students in Jackie Bray’s second-grade class at Ballard County Elementary School have teamed up with students in Brian Jarvis’ greenhouse class at Ballard County Career and Technical Center to plant and maintain a tower garden in Bray’s classroom.

The lettuce it is producing is slated for service in meal for the Board of Education, according to Ballard Foodservice Director Amber Hayes. “We’d like to get so we can rotate different produce and herbs,” she said, “and use them at least once a month in a school meal.”

Foodservice purchased two of the towers (the other is located in Ballard County Middle School) after talking to Bray. “I contacted Mr. Jarvis, and he brought some students over before Thanksgiving break to work with us.”

“It’s a neat activity we can do with the elementary students,” Jarvis said. The system is aeroponic, he explained, meaning that the plant roots are open to the air. Water with added nutrients runs across them to nourish the plants, and only needs to be maintained every month or so.

The older students put the tower together, then explained how the system worked and what to expect, Bray said. They also helped the younger students in planting the tiny lettuce seeds in the blocks of artificial growing medium that the system uses.

Bray said the project fits in with their science unit on germinating seeds. “It’s beginning to grow like crazy, and the kids are so excited!” she said. “We’re currently testing whether seeds need warm or cool weather to grow.”

“It’s really is a cool project for both age groups!” Jarvis added.

Published 09:00 PM, Wednesday Dec. 06, 2017
Updated 07:22 PM, Wednesday Dec. 06, 2017

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