The Student News Site of Rhinebeck High School

Rhinebeck Reality

The Student News Site of Rhinebeck High School

Rhinebeck Reality

The Student News Site of Rhinebeck High School

Rhinebeck Reality

Students Start An Indoor Garden in RHS’s Innovation Hub

Mr. Frischknecht holds the seeds to the next Innovation Hub harvest.

A new indoor garden in Rhinebeck has blossomed.

Since February of 2023, a hydroponic garden has been in progress in the middle school. The students of the civics class, taught by 7th grade history teacher Mr. Frischknecht, were pondering what to do to combat their frustration with what was being offered in the school cafeteria. They talked to Larry Anthony, who runs the kitchens in Rhinebeck, Red hook, and Pine Plains, and he agreed to change things. 

The civics class, Mr. Frischknecht, Larry Anthony, and Katie Anderson came together and brainstormed many ideas about kinds of gardens they could do, such as an outdoor garden or a greenhouse, and eventually agreed on a hydroponic garden which would allow them to produce food year round. 

The middle school’s hydroponic garden arrived in June of 2023, and is located in the hallway just outside of the Hawk’s Nest upstairs.

Recently, RCSD Director of Curriculum Katie Anderson purchased a second hydroponic garden for the high school, which is now taken care of by the Environmental Club led by Ms. DeStrange. 

The hydroponic garden can run all of the time. It is a soil-less system based on water being pumped to the top with nutrients trickling down behind the plants and the root system. Food can be produced year round with the hydroponic garden. 

The hydroponic garden is now a large part of the civics class offered in the middle school. Every A day they go down and test the water, replant things, and harvest.

They hydroponic garden can produce a variety of food. In November 2023 they were able to get started with growing their first crop: romaine lettuce. They produced 125 heads of lettuce.

Now they have moved onto swiss chard, nasturtium, zucchini, strawberries, tomatoes, basil, other herbs.  All of the food produced is used for school lunches. 

Overall, the students of the civics class take on a large amount of responsibility when it comes to the middle school’s hydroponic garden. According to Mr. Frischknect, they all enjoy tending to the hydroponic garden and eating the food it produces. It’s a hands on activity that’s very different from what they do the rest of the school day. 

The students have taken charge of this project, and Mr. Frischknect provides them with the resources and opportunities as well as tending to the garden throughout the week.

The hydroponic gardens in both BMS and RHS bring us one step closer to healthy eating at Rhinebeck Central School District. 

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