AACAL ‘Nerd Farmers’ Grow Lettuce with Food Computer

Local News

Three AACAL students may have the solution when it comes to growing food in different climates. The students created a food computer in the fall.

“You can control the environment, it doesn’t use soil, no pesticides or anything like that, it is all hydroponics,” said Bay Tompkins. 

With the computer, the students were able to successfully grow romaine lettuce.

“When we tasted it, when we made our salads, you could tell it was greener, healthier and it tasted, in my opinion, better than your regular romaine lettuce you buy from the store,” said Luis Contreras.

Contreras believes the food computer could help when it comes to growing items not typically found here.

“Watermelon is kind of a scarce thing because of the lack of rain. There is not many watermelon farms here, and with the food computer you can actually grow watermelon, as many as you want, if you have the right size food computer and enough water,” said Contreras.

Allton Montano said it could also be the solution when it comes to food insecurity.

“It would be a really good way to provide food for low-income families because of instead of trying to grow things outside they can grow things inside their house,” said Allton Montano.

RELATED: Helping Solve Hunger Issues: AACAL Students Awarded for Food Computer Project

Principal Jay Barrett said he is proud of his students for their accomplishment and looks forward to seeing what they grow in the future.

“It was just awesome to see, if you will pardon the pun, them grow as they grow plants,” said Barrett.

The students grew the romaine lettuce at a time when it was being pulled from store shelves. They are now planning on building a bigger food computer this semester.

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