Worms in the biology lab

SHS biology teacher starts new club to teach students about urban farming


Andrew Tapp

Biology teacher Rachel Pearce puts worms in junior Vicky Pai’s container. Within these containers students in the club are growing vegetables to work towards making their own salads.

David Worland, Reporter

Biology teacher Rachel Pearce has recently developed a new hobby in urban farming. Urban farming is used by some to grow food in unconventional ways. Instead of planting vegetables and fruit on a plot of land, urban farming uses backyards, patios or windowsills  of people who take up the hobby. Pearce does this at home and also holds meetings after school for students who want to learn more.

“Anyone can grow their own food,” Pearce said. “Studies have shown that if kids grow vegetables, they will eat vegetables.”

Pearce, who grows potatoes and sprouts at home, believes urban farming has a certain reassurance to it. She says that it’s nice to know where her food is coming from.

“I think organic farms are going to be the way of the future,” Pearce said. “So the more who know how to do that, the better.”

To Pearce, urban farming doesn’t just benefit her to grow her own food, it can benefit anyone willing to try it.

Noah LeMasters, a student who attended the first urban farming meeting Jan. 30, had heard of urban farming, but never took it seriously until the meeting. According to LeMasters, he was surprised by what was offered with urban farming in itself.

“It’s interesting,” LeMasters said. “It’s helping the environment, and it’s also a way to get food.”

Pearce assigned LeMasters, along with the other students who attended, to conduct a little bit of their own urban farming at home using sprouts. The next meeting, which Pearce plans to hold every week,  will be when students report their progress. LeMasters, although new to urban farming, plans to continue doing it.

“It’s more of a learning process,” Lemasters said.

As the students learn more about urban farming, Pearce says she has plans to introduce fruit trees, but as of right now, it will be only vegetables. Pearce welcomes any and all students to attend if they want to learn something “new” and “unique.”