A partnership between the LIGHT (Life Instruction Guiding Huntley Transition) Program and Huntley 158’s Food Services Department is helping students grow their skills while supplying cafeterias with high-quality, organic produce.
Using Tower Gardens, vertical hydroponic gardens set up in the Huntley High School cafeteria, students in the LIGHT Program grow a variety of greens and lettuces which they then harvest and sell for use by food services.
Students conducted their third harvest of the year on April 17, netting several pounds of red leaf, green leaf, and other varieties of lettuce that will be served on the HHS salad bar and in individual salads sold in the cafeteria.
The project was the subject of a photo essay in the Northwest Herald.
“We call this ‘beyond organic,’ because not only is it free of pesticides and other chemicals, but it never even touches dirt,” said Kevin Harris, Huntley 158 director of food services. “And being grown right here, we get it at about the same price as the conventional produce we get from our large vendors.”
Students gain experience not only growing and harvesting the produce, but also in business skills, such as calculating costs and writing up invoices.
The LIGHT Program recently celebrated its fifth anniversary of preparing students ages 18-22 for independent living with supports for employment and education and/or training.