CARROLLTON, Ky. — A Carroll County High School (CCHS) student operates a hydroponic greenhouse.
According to a press release, senior Peyton Murray orchestrates the growing of "hundreds of heads of lettuce" in the greenhouse.
All the food produced is used in the school's cafeteria.
Murray works in the greenhouse as a co-op with agriculture teacher Mackenzie Wright. Officials said she offered him the opportunity after he took a food production class last year and worked in the greenhouses.
“I took her up on the offer because I thought it would be a good opportunity for work experience,” he said, noting that he may pursue a job in food agriscience or as a butcher.
The press release states that the lettuce is grown on three "large tables" consisting of 300 squares for the seed pods. One pod will generate one head of lettuce.
“If every table were to be successful, we would get 900 heads of lettuce,” he said.
According to a press release, Murray harvests one half of a table and alternates the collection of the lettuce every week. A regular harvest produces 150 heads of lettuce.
Last year, officials said, the greenhouse used a koi pond to help with lettuce production but that couldn't happen this year because Murray didn't have anyone to help. The nutrients created by the fish were filtered and used to help grow the plants.
“You need a morning and afternoon person to take care of them and I could only tend to them in the afternoon,” he said.
The press release states that the greenhouse has been producing lettuce for the majority of the school year. Murray's goal is to grow other vegetables, like cucumbers or regular size tomatoes.
“We can grow practically anything,” he said. “I definitely think we can expand our variety. Really, I would like to be able to provide more.”
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