APES students dig in deep


Local farmer shows APES students the magic of hydroponics. “The farm was self sustaining,” senior Jordan Teliha said. “It is really an interesting concept and it was united with these really progressive farming techniques. It seemed like it would be a fun place to work.”

Collyn Burke, Reporter

From growing lettuce to upcycling, there’s not much Doc. Mcpherson’s APES class doesn’t do. A recent addition to their environmental curriculum included a trip to a small hydroponics farm and homestead, located just an hour away.
Hydroponics farms use fish to help grow and fertilize plants, allowing for a beneficial relationship, and a more organic option for food growth.

“There aren’t many hydroponic farms around in general, and it was cool to see one in our regional community,” senior Jordan Teliha said. “It’s a really revolutionary process.”

Teliha, like many of the students living in Cedar Park hadn’t been exposed to the idea of a homestead, a self providing household, or the revolutionary process of hydroponics.

“I think aquaponics and homesteads are really cool,” Teliha said. “There is something appealing about being in the countryside and being self sustaining. Hydroponics and aquaponics are pretty revolutionary technologies that have great potential to grow crops with less water and environmental externalities. By the end, I kind of wanted a little farm myself.”

With a trip like this one, Dr. Mcpherson’s students were able to get some real life knowledge, and get their hands a little dirty. This allowed for them to get a deeper understanding of the information they’re reading in their text books.

“I enjoy seeing what I learn in the real world,” senior Kristen Kelly said. “I thought going on the field trip would be a good opportunity to do that.”

Along with getting to understand how the technology worked, the students also got to interact with the homestead, and the people and creature that live there. A homestead functions as a self-providing home, food is grown and slaughtered, and energy is harvested.

“It made me want to eat more locally,” Kelly said. “I realized the amount of support that local farms need to survive and I started to understand how bad the chemicals are and that many farms put in there food.”

Through the students trip they were able to get a closer look at what they were learning, and gain a deeper appreciation for the food being put on their plate.

“My biggest takeaway from this trip was learning about all the insane advantages of hydroponics,” senior Reagan Brittan said. “You save a ton of water, and the food stays a lot fresher.”