After several years of being in a state of disrepair, Harrison College’s greenhouse has finally reopened with big plans for the school to generate income from selling produce and value-added products.
During a reopening ceremony on Tuesday, principal Juanita Wade said the renovation of the greenhouse, which was first opened in 2009, was possible with donations from businesses, organisations and individuals totalling more than $22 000.
She said students and teachers wanted to see the facility repaired as they recognised the importance of food security, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the continued impact of climate change.
Wade explained that instead of using traditional forms of agriculture, the students from the Environmental Club intend to utilise modern methods such as hydroponics and aquaponics and they will also learn about photovoltaic systems.
The principal disclosed that Harrison College wanted to start creating innovative products in the new school year.
“We are currently considering cultivating plants for making teas and we know there is the potential for making cosmetics. In time, we hope to get involved in producing honey and using beeswax in the production of the said cosmetics,” she said.
Wade said while the departments of chemistry, biology and physics will utilise the greenhouse most, the other departments also had the opportunity to make use of the facility.
Using the business department as an example, she said it could get involved in packaging and marketing products.
Wade thanked everyone involved in making the reopening of the greenhouse possible.
Minister of Education Kay McConney said the project was timely as it came as the world was struggling with food security and sustainability.
She said the greenhouse also provided students with tangible and authentic forms of learning.
The minister added that she wanted to see more agriculture programmes in the island’s schools as there was more to agriculture than simply growing food.
There are only 13 public secondary schools that offer agriculture science or a related discipline.
McConney pointed out that there were several opportunities available in farming, including developing businesses and getting involved in niche areas such as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. (SZB)