• Gretna Public Schools Young Adult Transition Program Starts Hydro Garden

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    October 27, 2023

    The Gretna Public Schools Young Adult Transition Program seeks to provide unique educational community experiences for students who need/elect to continue their education past the traditional 12 years of schooling. In partnership with the Gretna Public Schools Foundation and the Food and Nutrition Services (FANS) program, the YATP is working to bridge the student engagement gap by introducing their students to hydroponic gardens by Fork Farms. Fork Farms brings flex farming to the classroom and builds upon YATP curricular goals.

    Through a grant generously provided by the Foundation, the young adults will prepare for, grow, and sustain a community garden. Unlike traditional gardens, the Fork Farms garden is a hydroponic self sustaining unit. Program Coordinator/Young Adult Program Teacher Dawna Daily states that the garden program has peeked the interest of her students who also volunteer three days a week in the Whitetail Elementary kitchen. "I could see their eyes fill up with excitement when I explained what the unit was for and how we were going to be helping to feed the elementary students this year. They seemed to be celebrating that they would be able to give something to the students that they had grown themselves and talk to them about the process of growing your own food."

    Another benefit of the system is that it can be sustained all year long. The unit is hydroponic and has its own heat and water source so that it is able to produce fresh products all year long. The system will produce at least four different varieties of leafy greens this year. What a wonderful way to connect to the foundation, the community and the school district!

    Holly Radke, Executive Director
    hradke@gpsne.org, (402) 332-3265
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