John P. Holland Charter School Celebrates Official Opening of Hydroponic Classroom

On Tuesday, June 14th, NY Sun Works joined students and staff at the John P. Holland Charter School, in Woodland Park, NJ to celebrate the official opening of their NY Sun Works hydroponic classroom. The classroom is funded by a USDA Farm to School grant as well as funding from Sustainable Jersey Schools and the PSEG Foundation, and has been a source of education and exploration for students and staff members alike since it opened earlier this school year. 

“We learned that through hydroponics plants can grow without soil,” Luis Rosa, a student at John P. Holland said. “This is helpful for people who live in cities or urban areas such as Paterson.”

“Even during this year of training, the garden has allowed our community to experience the growing process from seed to table throughout the year,” said school founder Christina Scano. “In its first seven months, we harvested over 60 pounds of produce in this beautiful space.” 

With over 12 crop varieties to date, and more to come, the school’s edible garden offers hands-on knowledge of STEM concepts and inspires healthy eating habits among their students and families. So far, the school has used the garden to make and share smoothies, pesto, salad and pickles. In the fall, they are hoping to grow pumpkins.