Tower Gardens

Downtown Poplar Bluff supplies tower gardens
Posted on 05/03/2017

Downtown Poplar Bluff Inc. delivered the last of 10 tower gardens, valued at approximately $9,000 total, to the R-I school district on Monday, April 24. 

The tower gardens, which have the ability to produce year-round and include grade level curriculum, were secured through funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture acquired by former downtown director Penny McGath. 

“With tower gardens, students will be able to engage in hands-on learning through gardening,” stated Jerrica Fox, McGath’s successor. “Eating behaviors are learned early in life, and the key is to be educated. Through this grant, our schools are now able to incorporate nutrition education and the benefits of gardening in the classroom.”

The grant is a component of a larger initiative to fund a market manager for the Poplar Bluff Farmers’ Market and help sustain the operation annually from May through October. Last year the community portion of the proposal included a greenhouse project at the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center. In addition to providing tower gardens for R-I’s four elementaries, along with the Middle School and Junior High, the money benefitted Twin Rivers as well.

The vertical, aeroponic gardens include a light kit and drainage system, plus cherry tomato, eggplant, bell pepper and gourmet lettuce seeds, among other features. 

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Cutline: (From left) O’Neal third grade teachers Laura Payne, Amy Ethridge, Andrea Cline, Allison Bell, Cassie Crawford and Laura Smith prepare to develop lesson plans around their new tower garden.

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