Hydroponic Gardening With Elders


Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School students have an ongoing relationship with their local long-term care facility. During a meeting with residents and staff, students learned that residents had a strong desire to garden and grow food. However, physical and climate restrictions meant many were unable to garden.

After the meeting the students decided they wanted to do a gardening project. Students partnered with members of the community to assist with their planning. They met with an herbalist, farmer, teacher and owner of Goldthread Apothecary and Herbal Farm, to decide how best to grow food with the residents.

The final decision was to make an indoor hydroponic garden system. The twist on hydroponic gardening created a great learning experience and connected back to their studies of the Inca people. In addition, the students learned about pH nutrition.

They shared their work by creating a classroom and tabletop display for the Massachusetts Community Service-Learning Conference and made posters with residents showing what they had learned about “going green.”

Students hosted an end-of-the-year celebration and beamed with pride to see how excited the residents were to eat food made with herbs they had all grown together!