Lawrenceburg Schools, How Does Your Garden Grow?
By Mike Perleberg
Aeroponic Tower Gardens are introducing Lawrenceburg high school and elementary students to a new way of gardening. (Left to right) Mission Nutrition club members Kira Morris, Celina Couch, Mallory Crosby, and teacher Colleen Perfect. Photo by Mike Perleberg, Eagle Country 99.3.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Lawrenceburg Community Schools teacher Colleen Perfect is bringing awareness of the role of proper nutrition in health and wellness.
Perfect leads Mission Nutrition, a group of Lawrenceburg High School students dedicated to the cause as she is. With two parents who have suffered heart attacks, Perfect says she’s come to understand that while exercise is important, nutrition is just as big a factor in staying healthy.
“Many of our students are interested in becoming future healthcare providers and so it was really kind of neat because you have these students that are interested in being our future doctors and nurses that are investing their time in nutrition and learn more,” Perfect explains.
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The high school students have been working closely with a first grade class this year in creating fun activities centered on science, gardening, and healthy eating.
Another Mission Nutrition project has been growing tomatoes, lettuce, and other vegetables from seed using a Tower Garden in Perfect’s classroom at LHS, as well as one in the first grade classroom at Lawrenceburg Primary School. Each tower can grow up to 28 plants.
“It is an aeroponic growing system. The difference between aeroponics and hydroponics is that aeroponics work so that the plant’s roots are either in air or water so there’s no soil, no weeding, and with grow lights we can grow indoors throughout the entire school year,” Perfect says.
LHS students held a “salad in a jar” party with first graders in December using veggies picked from Mission Nutrition’s Tower Gardens. Photo provided.
The program is growing in more ways than one. Mission Nutrition may eventually be expanded to an outdoor greenhouse somewhere on the Lawrenceburg schools campus. Mission Nutrition may also one day include all grade levels, Perfect says.
A community informational session about Mission Nutrition will be held Thursday, May 12 starting at 7:00 p.m. in the Lawrenceburg High School cafeteria. All are welcome to attend and hear about using Tower Gardens in schools or at home.
You can learn more about Lawrenceburg Community Schools’ Mission Nutrition at www.ourmissionnutrition.com. The club also has Twitter and Instagram accounts to follow @growgivelearn.