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A Space to Grow at GCDS

Sustainability. That word seems to be everywhere these days. Most of us know it means finding better ways to use the earth’s resources today so that it won’t harm future generations’ ability to thrive. At Greenwich Country Day School, faculty aims to make that word mean something more than a dictionary definition through recycling, gardening, reducing waste and finding ways to cut the school’s carbon footprint. So when the school established the campus freight farm in the spring of 2023, it seemed a natural extension of lessons already being taught.

“We hope that the students understand the sustainable advantages of the Hydroponic Freight Farm over traditional agriculture practices,” says Jacqueline Jenkins, assistant head of school. The farm uses only five gallons of water a day and reduces the amount of land required by growing plants vertically. “Students have commented on how well such a design applies itself to urban or other unsuitable growing environments,” adds Jenkins. In the freight farm, which grows vegetables under ultraviolet light, students learn how sustainable farming can help communities with limited resources, but also see the fruits of their labor, as all the veggies are served in campus dining halls. The program has also prompted STEM-interested kids to innovate, like one student who is building a machine to automate one step of the growing process.

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