These two budding scientists are to set up and operate an Astrogrow aeroponic system inside the Mosier Community School, a charter school located in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. They will incorporate the system into GISMO (pronounced gizmo), a program of instruction in general science taught by Daniel M. Rasmussen. The goal is to successfully grow vegetables in the hallway outside the school cafeteria, and recruit other students to participate in the mission.
The girls (Eliot & Surreal) are really on the job. They have already brought Jonathan onto the team and are cloning their first crop of tomatoes, as seen in the picture below.
The exciting new light source we want to preview is the Tek-Light 5 from Sun Systems. What's so exciting about this fluorescent light? Well, first of all it produces more lumens than a 400W metal halide! Not only is it extremely efficient but it only produces a fraction of the heat of other lamps, which made it safe for these students to work around it and allows the fixture to be lowered very close to the plant canopy. The (8) lamps can be mixed and matched to produce the desired light spectrum. It has an exclusive 9-bend reflector made of German 95% reflective aluminum. The solid state electronic ballasts do not emit heat, noise or vibration. Combined with their Adjustable Cable Hanger System this system is unmatched! The students, our staff, and the plants give this product a really big "thumbs up"!
We had some questions for our students in week 4.
Q. What do you like about growing aeroponically?
A. "How big the plants have grown in such a short time." Jonathan, grade 5
Q. What problems have you had with the system?
A. "The plastic cups caused too much humidity and the plants got powder mildew. So, we removed the sick plants and replaced them with new cuttings. The plants also had spider mites. We didn't treat the plants, we just kept an eye on them. As the plants grew roots, the spider mites had little effect." Eliot, grade 5
Harvest time. Did we say really big plants?
Click to enlarge