It’s not what you think. The nonprofit organization New York Sun Works has set up a hydroponic farming program in almost 200 schools across New York City and New Jersey and about 65,000 students are harvesting their crops this year. 

Photo: Rawpixel / iStock

The program’s senior development manager Elana Mass says students are learning core science, sustainability, water conservation and about, “the impact of different types of farming on the environment.”

Some of the students learning about hydroponic farming include those with special needs. Special education teacher Conor Barry at a high school in Queens says that the class meets students’ different sensory needs. The students are growing herbs and vegetables such as arugula, snow peas and peppers. 

After harvesting their produce, students will then participate in a special culinary class where they will prepare a meal that will be sold to other students and staff. 

Nicole Perrino is the founder of, a hyperlocal website for Bronx families where she use her influence to celebrate the beauty that the Bronx has to offer. In addition to her role at Bronxmama,...

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