2021 - 2022
Farm-to-table is an extensive social movement in the culinary industry that focuses on
selecting and utilizing fresh, sustainable ingredients when developing menus and recipes.
With the recent developments and improvements in vertical hydroponic systems, many
restaurants and culinary schools are transitioning into having their own hydroponic gardens inhouse.
With these personal hydroponic gardens, culinary professionals are able to cultivate
and select high-quality ingredients for themselves, that they can then pick straight from the
source to utilize in their cooking. Never before has fresh produce been more accessible, cost
effective, and environmentally friendly. By giving Andover High School students the same
resources, students would be able to use their creativity and ingenuity to develop their own
menus and recipes, then cultivate and care for their own ingredients. Students would be able
to follow the production of their produce from the seed stage all the way to a finished dish that
they prepared. Incorporating hydroponic technology into culinary classes would also allow for
more discussions about agriculture, food sourcing, controlling food cost, selecting quality
ingredients, the farm-to-table movement, sustainable cooking, environmental consciousness,
and more. The integration of a vertical hydroponic garden in the culinary department at AHS
would allow for sustainable resources to be grown and utilized by the students for many years
to come. Hundreds of students would be impacted, and they would be able to truly experience
and appreciate the innovative culinary movement that is farm-to-table cooking.
By giving Andover High School students access to such an amazing resource, the students
will be able to explore avenues in the culinary world that they have not even considered up to
this point in their lives. They will be able to come up with their own recipes, menus, or even
restaurant concepts that they can then implement by growing and nurturing their own
ingredients. Students will be able to exercise their imagination and creativity to the fullest, and
then see the tangible results of the concepts they create. This exploration into the farm-totable
movement will set them up for success later in life, whether they are simply cooking at
home or working professionally as chefs. Adaptability and creativity are crucial life skills that
can be expanded upon and strengthened when students are given the ability to explore,
develop, and grow in this way.