Fresh Produce in Winter? Tri-C Makes it Possible
March 04, 2015
John Horton, 216-987-4281 firstname.lastname@example.org
Agriculture classes learn hydroponic techniques for year-round agriculture
HIGHLAND HILLS — Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) has turned winter’s coldest months into a time to harvest fresh produce.
The College added a hydroponics unit to plant production classes this semester to show the potential for year-round agriculture in Northeast Ohio. Done in a greenhouse, hydroponics is a water-based growing process that uses no soil.
“We want our students to rethink what is possible,” said Greg Malone, manager of the College’s Plant Science and Landscape Technology program.
Hands-on classes left a portion of the Eastern Campus greenhouse filled with leafy heads of lettuce and dozens of tomato and pepper plants. The first harvest of winter should take place within a few weeks.
For each crop, students experimented with three hydroponic systems that utilized different materials and techniques. The equipment to setup the operation inside the greenhouse cost less than $3,000.
Malone said the goal was to show how easily entrepreneurs can launch hydroponics-based farms that yield produce throughout the year and fit into the region’s emerging farm-to-table movement.
Produce harvested at the campus greenhouse during the hydroponics project will be used at Café 4250, the student-run restaurant at Eastern Campus.