Providing Tools for Learning and Sustainable Growing - Our LF-ONE Teaches a New Generation of Farmer
HYVE is very excited to be participating in the Home Educators Association of Virginia Conference in Richmond this week at the convention center.
On display will be the brand’s educational and small business hydroponic growing system known as the LF-ONE (short for “Little Farm”).
The LF-ONE provides the opportunity for students to learn and grow their own hydroponic, fresh, healthy vegetables. The unit has the capacity to grow up to 54 mature plants per grow cycle, offers a programmable logic controller, LED grow lighting, an irrigation/fertigation pump, and is easily assembled. Best of all, it provides a great way to grow and learn for students in home school or traditional school environments.
We asked Alia Clements, Program Manager for the LF-ONE what makes the unit so good for the education market and she shared with us some of the highlights of the unit and technology.
According to Alia, the LF-ONE is really positioned well to fit into classroom learning whether that learning be of the home school variety or something more related to STEM requirements found in public schools. She said of the unit: “The LF-ONE is a fantastic way to bring many hands-on elements of learning into a a very real immersive learning practice. Students have the opportunity to learn about science because they are dealing with the nature of growing and vegetation. They learn how important lighting and nutrients are to producing something healthy. This is science at its most pure form.” She also says that the LF-ONE is great for “mathematical learning.” This is because students use math to figure out correct nutrient mixes, pH levels, grow cycles for various plants and more. And since the LF-ONE is capable of growing a variety of crops at the same time, not each mathematical equation may work out just the same. Something such as a herb for example may have a different grow cycle than lettuce. And a herb may be vegetation that is maintained within the unit for an extended period of time - just trimmed back and used as needed while something such as lettuce will be traditionally harvested when it has reached maturity.
Alia also said this: “Our units are not only great at teaching science and math but they also encourage students to work together in teams. This not only fosters teamwork in growing plants but teaches students the importance of communication and working together on certain tasks where one portion of the process may directly impact the timing and success of another.”
In speaking with the HYVE team, they see the LF-ONE as a distinct and yet similar product to the meat of what they are attempting to do with the brand. While the large scale vertical racks that are really the core of what HYVE is seeking to accomplish in feeding the world and bringing the technology forward, they believe the smaller units can teach students, teachers, and families alike the importance of nutrition.
They tell us that simply that many of the new generation of student doesn’t truly understand where food sources originate. They are accustomed to seeing lettuce in a grocery store, but they may really not understand how that lettuce is grown and how it completes its journey onto dinner plates from seeds right up to the mature plant. The LF-ONE makes this entire process one that can be seen, touched, understood, and ultimately tasted.
This understanding is important to instill at an early age not only to teach those basic concepts of science and math, but also to help students understand the diminishing natural resources that go along with conventional types of farming. As the world grows those traditional methods simply will not be able to keep up with the demand for food all over the world - most especially in light of flooding and natural disasters that can’t be controlled.
The HYVE team strongly believes that contained environment horticulture systems can be a commercially viable means to help abate hunger throughout the world while providing farmers with systems that can be profitable with a valuable and proven return on investment. A big step in teaching the next generation of farmers might just be something like the LF-ONE. As Alia says “There’s a certain amount of satisfaction and accomplishment for students when they successfully grow a crop and then eat that crop in their school cafeteria or at home. It’s our goal to foster and inspire that success one tasty, fresh mouthful at a time.”