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Brooke Point High School installs Babylon vertical garden

From Stafford County Schools

High School students participating in the Culinary Arts, Business, IT, and IB Environmental Science programs at Brooke Point High School (BPHS) in Stafford are taking gardening to a whole new level, vertically. The school has partnered with Babylon Micro-Farms, Inc, to install a 15 square foot, hydroponic, vertical garden in its culinary arts room.

“The Babylon garden is an important hands-on STEM learning tool that will benefit our students in many ways,” said Stafford County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Kizner. “The fact that we are saving 2005 square feet of farmland in a booming county is also of great benefit to our community.”

The garden will grow herbs, microgreens, and leafy greens. Students in the culinary arts program will use the produce in their menus, business students will develop a plan for using future crops, IT students will study how the app works and the AI functions of the garden, and IB Environmental students will study the impact of the garden on reducing environmental concerns that are associated with traditional farming.

“It’s important to me that we expose our students to innovative technology and ideas to inspire them to invent and create a more sustainable community,” said BPHS Principal Tim Roberts. “I am excited to see this important learning taking place, and to be able to provide our students with different strategies and ways of thinking in a very tangible way that promotes positive change.”

The garden is remotely managed by Babylon to ensure optimal growing conditions for the plants. Students will use an app that allows them to follow along with live data alerts, growing support, and the harvest schedule. The Babylon garden will initially grow crops that support the culinary arts program. After the first harvest, the garden is expected to produce $500 in produce per month. 

Babylon vertical gardens produce three times the yield of traditional gardens, are grown without pesticides, result in 95% less food and 99% less plastic waste, and produce 71% fewer carbon emissions. According to Babylon, the Micro-Farms bring people closer to what they eat, create transparency in the food chain, build healthier relationships with food, and create an opportunity to change the story of how food is made.

For more information about SCPS visit www.staffordschools.net.

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