The GEF is happy to support the installation of a Hy Tunnel on the grounds of the Goochland High School near the greenhouse. The funds used are from the John H. Wright Fund, which is restricted for biology, ecology and agriculture programming for middle and high school students.
The Hy Tunnel provides the opportunity for students to plant in the ground and not in raised beds and control the climate during all seasons of the year. They can study crops because of the extension of the season. Imagine eating homegrown tomatoes in the spring! They will grow a wide variety of vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and celery and sweet corn at a time of year that is not normal for our climate.
They are also planning an LD50 (Lethal Dose 50%) project with lettuce plants. A corporation that has invented and is marketing a new form of fertilizer made from algae has provided the agriculture department samples and a round of petri dish testing to set up in the H. T.
LD 50 project-Lethal Dose 50 % – students treat agriculture crops with a type of environmental contaminant to determine how much the plants can tolerate and recover from as opposed to a certain amount provided the lethal dose. The students will use something as simple as salt water, which mimics drought, or something more rigorous like a heavy metal found in pollution. Acid rain, for example, they will use a weak sulfur dioxide solution.
By providing opportunities for innovative learning, the GEF is giving students different avenues to discover and learn so they are prepared for a changing global society.