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WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — It may not be the time of year most of us think about gardening, but some students in Washington County are testing out their green thumb.
They’re using technology to help people in the community, and to learn a different kind of lesson.
They’ve repurposed a 40-foot long, three-inch walled, insulted shipping container into a year-round hydroponic farm. No sunlight required, just add water.
Students at Trinity High School in Washington County are learning how to transform farming with technology. They got started by planting Peat moss plugs.
“So he puts them in, and once he has all 200, then he drops seeds into each one,” said one of the farm program organizers.
After a germination period, lettuce is growing and eventually ready for harvest.
“We should be able to produce roughly 1,200 to 1,500 heads of lettuce a week, every week of the year in our freight farm in a 320-square foot area,” said Trinity Area Assistant Superintendent Don Snoke.
They’ll donate the lettuce to the local food bank to help families in need, and eventually, they plan to use some in the school cafeteria.
This is just the kick-off for the Freight Farm at Trinity. Some public schools in Boston have already been doing it.
The assistant superintendent says new approaches to farming will become a necessity.
“The statistics have not been positive that they say by the year 2050, if we keep doing what we’re doing farming-wise, there won’t be enough food being produced for the populations in the world,” said Snoke.
So while the rest of us who grow things outside will be taking a break for the winter, students at Trinity will be busy all year long.
“And then, it should be a harvest every eight weeks,” said a Freight Farm teacher. “Hopefully.”