Learning about hydroponic gardening
The Rotary Club of North Cape Coral generously donated our Downtown Cape Coral preschool location a fully functional hydroponic gardening system. We are ever so proud of our garden, and the children have learned so much about agriculture while we’ve had this unique feature in our center. Since this donation, we have built our Midtown Cape Coral and North Fort Myers preschool locations gardens of their own.
Each classroom is responsible for taking care of their own hydroponic “stack”. This system ensures that each and every classroom – from our 3 year olds to our after
school children – shares in the responsibility of maintaining and growing our garden, and goodness, has it grown!
As shown below, we’ve had to expand our plants to the outside perimeter of our garden!
Here at All Superstars Preschool, we are dedicated to educating young children about their surrounding environment. Couple this with our heavy emphasis on the importance of healthy and fresh eating, and our garden becomes a superb teaching tool!
The children plant their own vegetable seeds, water their own sprouting plants and even harvest the fruits and vegetables that are grown. We grow tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, cilantro and parsley to name a few of our crops. The crops are used in our meals, giving the children the complete understanding of the agricultural process – bringing food from the garden straight to their plates!
Because our gardens are flourishing during these hot and rainy summer months, we’ve had a surplus of crops! Some clever Einsteins (our school age children) decided it would be a good idea to sell the surplus crops to the parents when they pick their children up from school!
The funds raided from our harvest sales are reinvested back into the garden for more organic fertilizers, planting pots, soil and seeds! We also like to use them to fund field trips for children who have been helping in the garden whose parents can't afford for them to go.
During the warmer months of the year, the gardens also provide an excellent haven for cocooning caterpillars. We teach the children to identify eggs, caterpillars and cocoons all while learning about the steps of a caterpillar’s life cycle. You’ll be hard pressed to find a four-year-old who knows what a chrysalis is, but our students will be able to tell you all about this cocoon stage of a caterpillar’s life cycle along with the additional 4 stages!
We love sharing our love for gardening and the environment with our children and these feelings are reciprocated. The children get ever so excited when they can see the progress of their seeds getting closer and closer to being ready to harvest. We couldn’t think of a better teaching tool than our unique hydroponic gardens!