When students at LPHS ask where “D” Hall is, many people reply back, “By the Greenhouse!” Right next to the small commons is a small room with various types of plants, and science teachers Mr. Lindeman, Mr. Doty, Mr. Messacar, and Mr. Tuholski spend a quality of their time and effort taking care of the plants.
The AP Earth Science class uses the greenhouse for experiments. It is also used by Honors Biology. Currently, three of the science teachers are working on a grant developing a water system called hydroponics. According to Dictionary.com, hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, the method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.
For the regular plants, the teachers leave the lights on so the plants can grow better, and the teachers water them often. However for the hydroponics setups, it is more of a complicated set up. The water takes the place of soil and is pumped over the roots of the plants, supplying the nutrients they need.
“I really hope our hydroponics setups take off, and we’re able to grow more food in there. I’d be totally ok with kicking out all the other plants and making the greenhouse into a little hydroponics lab were we experiment with growing various food crops in a variety of apparatuses,” Doty said.
Students who are science assistants also spend time cleaning and trimming plants. If a student is interested in helping in the greenhouse they can talk with any science teacher about taking care of the plants and getting involved.
Lindeman, who has been taking care of the greenhouse for 20 years, hopes more plants get donated and more students get involved. If anyone would like to donate a plant, he/she can make a donation to any of the science teachers.
“My favorite thing about the greenhouse is that it adds color and wonderful smells when plants are in bloom. Also, the number of plants varies depending on the season. Many plants are brought in just for the winter, and some seedlings are started in the winter for spring planting. We have about a dozen plants year-round,” Lindeman, said.
Having a greenhouse provides a more relaxing atmosphere to the school, and lends variety to an industrialized appearance. Students and staff appreciate the work that the science department does for our school and can not wait to see what is in store for the future for the greenhouse.