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Environmental & Greenhouse Clubs Grow Food for the Hungry

POTS greenhouse environmental club

In line with Fordham Prep’s Green Initiative, students from the Greenhouse and Environmental clubs are growing vegetables in the school’s greenhouse to help local food pantry Part of the Solution, Inc (POTS) feed the hungry.

While the Great Ignatian Challenge may have ended months ago, Fordham Prep’s Greenhouse and Environmental clubs are still rising to the challenge of fighting hunger in the community.

Under the supervision of science teacher and expert botanist Peter McNamara, students from both clubs have been tending to plants in the fourth-floor greenhouse all throughout the winter and spring. From these plants, students are harvesting food for delivery to support the community dining room at local food pantry Part of the Solution, Inc (POTS) as recommended by the school’s Environmental Sustainability Task Force.  

POTS greenhouse environmental club

Students took care of the plants in the greenhouse all throughout the winter and spring of the 2021-22 school year.

“The students fertilize, water, and care for the plants most days of the week for a few minutes a day. My job is to open the door and get them started,” said McNamara.

In Dr. Raymond Gonzalez’s science classroom, students are growing lettuce and other vegetables in an indoor smart garden under grow lights and on a tower.

McNamara and the students found that hydroponics is three to five times more efficient for growing greens. However, the plants growing in soil are beginning to catch up.

basil grown for POTS

Basil grown in an indoor smart garden, housed in Dr. Raymond Gonzalez’s science classroom.

“We also hope to add additional hydroponics systems on the walls of the greenhouse this summer to increase the amount of food the students can produce,” stated the Prep’s interim President Brian Carney.

POTS delivery from the greenhouse and environmental club

Members of the Greenhouse and Environmental clubs delivering vegetables grown in the greenhouse to support POTS.

The students delivered the first batch of food from the greenhouse in April 2022. “It’s great entertainment and learning for [the students] and very rewarding to give it all away,” McNamara said.

Learn more about Environmental Sustainability at Fordham Prep.