Rolling into a new school year can be exciting for some, or a daunting chore for others. One thing is for sure, there always seems to be something new and improved when school starts back up again. Sometimes it’s the faces in the halls, or sometimes it is new infrastructure that the school has built. This year, Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute (VCI) has found a way to add hydroponics to the school. Located in the cafeteria, you can see this vertical garden and its benefits on the students’ learning.

The Zip Grow Vertical Hydroponic System is a hanging structure that allows plants to grow in vertical rows on the wall. It recycles water and leaves the garden to only the necessary plants. The system allows the plants have light 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Agriculture has become quick and with minimal space needed.

Built for the Agriculture SHSM – Specialist High Skills Major – the Zip Grow Vertical Hydroponic System has been useful to everyone. People in science classes have had the chance to begin studying the plants’ process and analyzing the Zip Grow’s function in the plant process. The food and nutrition classes will also get a chance to take part in the action. They will be able to use the food that is grown in the Zip Grow System for class assignments. The VCI’s Zip Grow System carries lettuce, chives, spearmint, and parsley.

The appeal of for the Zip Grow System at VCI came from its modern technology and its new approach towards agriculture. In an agriculture community, seeing the future of plant growth sparks curiosity in the students.

The Zip Grow Vertical Hydroponic System has been a useful addition to VCI in that it has brought teachers, students and the rest of the staff together to collaborate on one project. Now all that is left, in the yield it will provide.