|Fremont's Ellis School Garden and Greenhouse Program
Part-time farmer and full-time science teacher John Hermann and his students, over the years, have built a greenhouse, installed solar panels to heat it, grown and sold food they produce and continue to make improvements and upgrades to the greenhouse and gardens as funding allows.
The solar panels heat the liquid that is pumped through tubing underneath the grow trays in the greenhouse. Every year students grow pumpkins, peppers, squash, tomatoes, lettuce, basil and garlic. The peppers and tomatoes get turned into salsa, the garlic and basil become pesto and the other produce is either sold or taken home by students who care for the garden and greenhouse over the summer. The processing is done at John's farm, Knife and Plow LLC's, commercial kitchen. Plants and prepared foods are sold to cover the cost of paying students to tend the gardens in summer and to support the purchase of seeds, fertilizer and other needed materials. Another unique activity the students do is to harvest their rye cover crop from their outdoor garden, attempt different techniques like winnowing to remove the grain from the chaff, and then grind the rye to make a few loaves of bread.