Sustainable Gardens in the Classroom
Looking for a way to inspire your middle school students about science, nutrition, farming, sustainability and organics?
Monmouth Conservation Foundation is proud to offer the second round of the Tower Garden Grant Program for Middle Schools in Monmouth County. If you are a teacher looking to bring a dynamic new enrichment tool into your classroom, this program is for you! Thanks to funding from The Community Foundation of New Jersey, Monmouth Conservation will underwrite the cost of four aeroponic growing units, known as Tower Gardens, plus provide training, technical assistance and an in-class visit with a local organic farmer and MCF staff to bring the themes of sustainability, conservation, nutrition and organics deeper into the classroom. We know that this exciting program will spark the curiosity and excitement of students about growing healthy, fresh, organic foods such as herbs, kale, lettuce and tomatoes while the classroom receives an innovative, educational tool and program to meet the New Jersey Science Standards through STEM education. The Tower Garden is just the beginning of the amazing journey you can take students on without leaving your classroom. This tool allows you to grow food in the middle of winter and includes grow lights and everything you need to create a lush garden indoors.
Tower Gardens employ aeroponic technology to grow plants in an air or mist environment rather than soil. Aeroponic systems use water, liquid nutrients and a soilless growing medium to quickly and efficiently grow nutrient-rich produce. This form of growing uses 98% less water than traditional agriculture while growing organic produce 30% faster. During the 2018/2019 school year, MCF donated six aeroponic growing towers to Middle Schools in Monmouth County (schools were located in Asbury Park, Holmdel, Howell, Highlands, Neptune and Red Bank).
“They LOVED it! The Tower Garden really sparked them.” explained Ms. Kristen Mariello, Science teacher at Red Bank Middle School about her experience with the students’ reaction to having the Tower Garden in their classroom.