It all started with a small group of educators and a big idea: “What if our high school could grow its own food? What if we could create a state-of-the-art facility and a place for community learning?” recalls Jessica Mella, Plymouth School District’s Nutrition and Wellness Coordinator.
In September 2015, that dream became a reality when Plymouth High School opened a 5,100 square foot Food Science and Agriculture Center (FSAC) on campus. The new building includes a greenhouse and indoor classroom space, fulfilling the farm to high school vision by providing students with a hands-on setting to explore agriculture, food science and culinary arts.
As soon as the Food Science and Agriculture Center was completed, classes such as Botany, Sustainable Food Production and Biotechnical Engineering started using the new space to teach students both soil-based and hydroponic growing techniques. Students are even experimenting with a combination of freshwater prawns and lettuce in an aquaponics system that uses nutrients from water, instead of soil, for plant growth.