Hydroponics at County Prep High School

Over the course of the 2013 – 2014 school year, County Prep Administration along with science instructors Dr. Szymanski and Mr. La Volpe met with members of New York Sun Works to discuss the possibility of building a Hydroponic Greenhouse at County Prep High School. While the Greenhouse Project at County Prep is still in the developmental stages, NYSW members assisted with upgrading and enhancing the existing hydroponic lab by adding one Crop King NFT system, one JP+ Tower Garden, and revamping the pre-existing aquaponics system. This is NYSW’s first project outside of New York and the first in New Jersey.  
In mid-November, the hydroponic classes were able to produce its first harvest of the year, yielding crops such as pumpkin flowers, kale, collard greens, bib lettuce, red lollo lettuce, oak leaf lettuce, and pesto basil. Dr. Szymanski and Mr. La Volpe teamed up with Chef Delesky in the Culinary Arts Department. Together, they were able to provide the students with a culinary experience called “From Farm to Table.” Using the kale and collard greens, Chef and the students whipped up tempura battered pumpkin flowers, vegetarian kale soup, chorizo-kale soup, and sautéed collard greens with chorizo.  
Dr. Szymanski and Mr. La Volpe would like to thank the HCST Administration and County Prep Administration along with NYSW members Manuela Zamora, Executive Director, Sidsel Robards, Director of Program Development, and Ashley King, Greenhouse Project Manager.
New York Sun Works is a non-profit organization that promotes urban sustainability and innovative global climate solutions using science education through their Greenhouse Project initiative. Their state of the art hydroponic greenhouse labs aim to provide schools with a 21stcentury outlook for environmental science that fosters hands-on learning through sustainable urban farming.

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