Albany High School using freight farm to grow produce for cafeteria

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It’s year-round growing season at Albany High School.

Some seniors at Albany High School are taking part in a program where they use a freight farm. It is a fully contained hydroponics farm in a shipping container, that uses water enriched with minerals and nutrients to grow fruits, vegetables and plants. It doesn’t require soil.

The goal is for students to learn about and become interested in hydroponics and to provide fresh produce to the school cafeteria.

Hydroponics is now embedded in the school curriculum, starting in elementary school. Many science classrooms already contain smaller hydroponics devices. Science and technology teachers now integrate the freight farm into their courses in different ways.

Students are learning the importance of hydroponics, especially because they live in an area that’s considered a food desert, and in a part of the country where you can’t grow outside all year long.

There are many aspects to this program that benefit the students, like preparing them for their future. The students also feel a sense of pride, knowing the work they’re doing is helping others.

Albany High’s new Freight Farm was donated by Barrington Irving of the Flying Classroom in March 2022. It is supported by a two-year U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm-to-School grant.