Tag Archives: farm to school missouri

A Farm For Your School: An Interactive Learning Experience

October is national Farm To School Month! To celebrate, our Agrow Cube has been installed at Pete’s Pumpkin Patch, where students, along with their families during the weekend or on scheduled field trips during the week, are coming to visit the Agrow Cube and learn about agriculture, business, and the importance of fresh, local produce.

The Farm to School initiative teaches the importance of farming in our communities and having access to fresh, local food, especially at school, where students can gain knowledge about the food industry and learn where food comes from. Having a school garden directly on campus provides several beneficial experiences for students. They can build  a positive relationship with healthy food; learn the difference between processed food and food grown naturally; and see the benefits of eating food that was grown locally.

Agrow Cube is an interactive small farm in a box. It can be integrated into a classroom to teach students about agriculture and running a small business, and give them a hands-on experience right there at the school. The cafeteria staff can also benefit from each Agrow Cube harvest with better access to fresh, local produce while teachers incorporate the interactive farm into their lesson plans.

Agrow Cube doesn’t use soil for its  plants, but instead uses the hydroponics farming method, which a water-based farming method. The water is automatically circulated through the pipe system by a water pump, and requires little maintenance.  This system is perfect for students, who can farm without creating a big mess of soil, water, and weeds. To learn more about hydroponics, check out our related blog post.

Besides being a soil-free farm, Agrow Cube is also insulated, which provides a farming experience all year round. Agrow Cube is a great tool for classrooms throughout the school year, because teachers and students can interact with the Agrow Cube during every season! To learn more about year round farming with Agrow Cube, visit our last blog post.

red basil growing in a hydroponics pipe setup
The water in Agrow Cube is trapped in the tubes, creating less mess.

The Agrow Cube can be incorporated into lesson plans in a variety of ways.

Discovery and senses

Young students can use their senses when learning about agriculture and  hydroponics:

Smell: Identify plants based on their scents (e.g., basil, mint, rosemary) and describe smells so that other students can find the same plant.

Touch: Touch the plants and feel the different textures to learn about new plants and how to care for plants without harming them.

Sight: Recognize different types of plants based on physical aspects such as coloring, leaf distribution, and size.  Students can also watch how the plants change during the different stages of growth. Students can learn how to recognize when plants have just been planted, and which ones are almost ready to be harvested.

Parsley growing in a hydroponics system, planted inside clay pebbles
Students can learn how to recognize parsley based on the shape of the leaves.

Biology

Students can see biology at work by tracking plant growth while controlling the amount of water, light, and nutrients plants receive.  They will be able to learn by doing: each student can be put in charge of specific plants that they will check every few days, track growth, and harvest themselves.

They can learn what plants need to grow with specific amounts of light, water, oxygen, and a certain temperature, and every plant requires different specifics. They can also learn about plant categories, similarities and differences between plants, and how many different plants can grow in one space.

Students can also recognize the different stages of a plant growth, which are seedlings, sprouts, and full harvestable plants. They can also learn to recognize the differences between healthy plants and ones that are struggling to grow. Then students can experiment with how to increase plant growth by adjusting light, temperature, nutrient, and water settings.

Seedlings growing in a rockwool cube.
Students can be in charge of their own individual plants from seedling to harvest.

Math and Business

Agrow Cube is designed to be treated like a small business. Therefore, it works as a great hands-on learning experience to teach students about math, business structure and management, economic systems, and marketing.

Students will be able to calculate the cost of supply and transportation, the time dedicated to running a small business, and how to review competitors in order to competitively price their harvested plants to sell to the school, farmers’ markets, or other customers.

The Agrow Cube also provides a good, interactive tool for teaching students how to be informed consumers. Teachers can separate students into groups of farmers and customers and teach them how to design business plans, ask consumer questions, and deal with issues that arise during negotiations and sales.

Global Awareness

Teachers can use the Agrow Cube to encourage discussions about the origin of food, the importance of access to fresh produce, and how food can be available in one area but not another. Students can learn about the history of agriculture in their home state, what is the famous food in the state, and how agriculture affects local culture.

Teachers can start a discussion about how some areas of the world have difficulty to access food, because of the different climates, and why it is important to shop food locally and in season.

Integrating Agrow Cube to a school means having the benefit of a small farm and a small business directly on the school premises, which provides students with access to agriculture, science, math, business, and cultural hands-on learning opportunities.

To learn more about Agrow Cube and the pricing, visit our website www.agrowcube.com, or call us today at (800) 356-8351.

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