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Kelloggsville Students Grow Hydroponic Peppers

The peppers are poppin’ at Kelloggsville Middle School.

Eighth-grade teacher Marcia Cisler’s hyrdroponics program started in December as a way to teach students agriculture and the ways subjects like math and science tie into it.

As a result, several large pepper plants are growing in water at the school, cultivated and cared for by students. Cilantro is also sprouting.

A pepper is ready for picking at Kelloggsville Middle SchoolDaily, students care for the plants, making sure the PH levels are correct and that they are receiving proper nutrition. Students get to take their harvest home if they wish, and the veggies are being used in the school lunch program.

Eighth-grade student Jaedyn Becker enjoys being part of the process of keeping the plants healthy and producing plentiful peppers.

“It’s fun because then you get to see how they grow,” he said. “I like doing this stuff. But it’s much more than watching and waiting.  If you mess up, you could kill all the plants.”

Students have gone green in other ways too, recently started composting and recycling programs at the school. “With the composting, we’ve actually reduced the waste from lunch from seven large bins to two or three large,” Cisler said.

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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