Christmas lights twinkled alongside grow lights as Lodi High School and its FFA Alumni Association dedicated a new greenhouse. The ribbon-cutting last week for the new facility was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and its related shutdowns and school closures, but that made the celebration by the project’s supporters all the sweeter.
The greenhouse was new in 2019 and the school was going to have a celebration and open house in 2020, but it was put on hold due to the pandemic. “Now we’re back to putting on the event and it’s nice because more things have been finalized,” says Connor Anderson, Lodi High School’s agriculture teacher. “We have some lights that have been donated and the aquaponic system is up and running and I’m able to show how it all works.”
The school needed a new facility to keep up with teaching students about horticulture and the school’s old greenhouse just wasn’t up to the task. It is much smaller and was designed as a lean-to off the school’s agriculture classroom. It was built with glass and gained a lot of heat during sunny days, making it difficult to use it for plants.
The new greenhouse, built with polycarbonate panels, is double the size of the old greenhouse space and has automated systems to help keep the temperatures in the proper range for plants to grow efficiently. “It’s a much better growing space,” Anderson told us. “The kids can do their plant sale and those plants won’t be cooked to death.”
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