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Aeroponics at Kilohana School

Community Contributed

By Val Hart, Horticulture Instructor

Kekoa and Geovanni add onion and strawberries to the Aeroponic system.

Students at Kilohana School are learning some high-tech agriculture during a 21st Century grant horticulture class. Using a technique called aeroponics, students will grow fruits and vegetables without the use of soil.

Using an Aeroponics Grow Kit, students will have the opportunity to learn this aero hydroponic gardening technique. Increasing the aeration of your nutrient solution, by using sprayers, foggers, nebulizers or other devices, more oxygen is delivered to plant roots, stimulating growth and preventing algae formation. Plants form oxygen from carbon dioxide only on the green parts of themselves, so enhancing the dissolved oxygen at the root zone enhances the metabolism and growth of plants.

Students will learn how to use a tri-meter to monitor and record the pH level, temperature, and nutrient conductivity in their aeroponic system. By learning to analyze their data, they will understand how to make any adjustments to the temperature, pH level of the nutrient solution, and to check that nutrient conductivity is maintained at about 800 to 1200 ppm. Using their LaMotte water quality testing kit, they will collect data and record the dissolved oxygen levels in the nutrient solution. By conducting these activities, students will strengthen their science, math, and agriculture skills.

Aeroponics provides an easy and unique way to grow fresh fruits and veggies anywhere without soil, while saving space and conserving water and energy. Setting up an aeroponic system is more complicated than other hydroponic systems, but once set up, it will run indefinitely without any more additional costs.

Much mahalo to Robert Jordan of Da Greenhouse for providing the equipment, supplies, and time to helping guide our keiki towards a “green, self-sufficient, self-sustaining” future.

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