Skip to main content

Reed City High School has something special other schools would benefit from. Two years ago members of the Science department put together the Growing Dome Project. This hands on learning facility offers high school students a fantastic opportunity to grow their own food and learn about different methods of growing fruit, vegetables and even tropical plants in northern Michigan.

I've had the opportunity to visit the dome a few times, and it's always a treat to see what the kids currently have growing. Today the dome was full of several varieties of lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, hot peppers, a few onions and herbs. The strawberry plants looked very healthy and the lemon tree in the center of the dome had lemons on it.

The dome is a 51' diameter geodesic kit the high school students put together in a month. All of the materials used to put together the aquaponic, hydroponic and vermiculture stations came from hardware stores, lumber yards and gardening centers. The aquaponic system consists of two grow beds suspended over a large water tank filled with perch. The fish castings in the water provide nutrients for the plants. The water is filtered back into the fish tank after watering the plants. The amazing thing is the water in the fish tank is crystal clear.

The two hydroponic towers also have tanks with fish. During my recent visit they were growing lettuce and spinach. The lettuce looked gorgeous! It was hard to resist tearing off a leaf and eating it right there. Along with the fish tanks, the hydroponic system benefits from a regular boost of worm tea made on site. In the summer the hydroponic towers produced 800 pounds of tomatoes.

The Science students maintain an excellent vermicomposting system that produces worm castings or worm tea which is a highly concentrated, potent fertilizer. The four tubs contain worms, some base material and vegetable kitchen scraps that the worms feed on. Their waste becomes vermicompost or worm tea. I have a book written by the late Mary Appelhof who dedicated her life to educating people about the benefits of vermicomposting. Her organization Flowerfield Press still operates in Kalamazoo.

Reed City High School is very fortunate to have these dedicated professionals working in their school system. With their willingness to provide such an excellent hands on educational program for their public school it's important we support these schools and the students who benefit from them. Students learn much more seeing an ecosystem thrive before their eyes instead of merely reading about it in a textbook. Public education works, and it's important to keep our schools well resourced and under local jurisdiction so they can continue to provide excellent learning experiences like the Growing Dome at Reed City High School.  

Images used in this blog were rehosted from the RCAPS Growing Dome website. I own nothing.

Originally posted to Hoi Polloi on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 06:46 AM PST.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site