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We recently caught up with Denise Ekeroth, an AmHydro grower located in San Diego county.  Denise runs farming classes geared towards children, and she shared a bit about her project with us.

“I’ve always had an interest in casual gardening and eating healthy so starting a backyard hydroponics system was another step in the adventure. Perhaps what made it unique was adding young students into the mix.

I started holding hydroponic growing classes for homeschool co-op students and kids in after-school groups nearly three years ago and it has been so great to see the kids get excited to come to class each week. Kids elementary age up to high school come weekly for hands-on learning in the greenhouse.

Each week students get to learn about each step of the growing process and get to be involved in seeding, transplanting and harvesting a variety of leafy greens, herbs, and even flowers.”

“Since we are located in San Diego, an area prone to water shortages, students learn that saving water is very important and how using hydroponic technology allows us to grow more efficiently and save water at the same time. Parents often join in on the fun and get to participate in the class alongside their kids.

A few of the kids that have taken the class have entered a hydroponic exhibit in the local county fair and have been awarded “Best of Show” each year they enter! The produce that the students harvest is either goes home with the students so they can share it with their families, used for fundraising and community outreach, or goes to the local Salvation Army meal program.

While the program has had to undergo a few changes due to the changes in the school system as a result of COVID-19, the growing has continued.  We are looking at ways to modify the program so the students can continue coming to learn about hydroponics and getting hands on experience in the greenhouse!”