Blake School, Taher

A student at The Blake School’s Highcroft Campus in Wayzata works with Taher’s Executive Chef Noah Balow to harvest basil in the school’s cafeteria.

WAYZATA — The Blake School’s Highcroft Campus is taking a new approach to food.

The school has partnered with Taher Inc., a Minnetonka-based food supplier, which installed a Fork Farms Flex Prop hydroponic farming unit in the school’s cafeteria last spring. The unit supports up to 144 plants and produces 25-30 pounds of pesticide- and herbicide-free lettuce and herbs every six weeks, the release says.

“Blake and Taher share a desire to provide healthy, local food and hands-on learning experiences for students,” Taher Food Services Director Nicolle Thomas said in the release.

Taher and Blake plan to use this year as a pilot year to see if they can implement the Fork Farms equipment on the other Blake School campuses, according to the release.

Taher Executive Chef Noah Balow helped first-grade classes plant the first seeds in April, which provided fresh lettuce and herbs for the cafeteria. Once a week Balow works with extended day students to harvest basil, the release notes.

“I like to know where food comes from and how it grows,” Eva, a Blake student, said in the release. “Chef Noah put some on the pasta and it tastes really good.”

Blake is the second private school in Minnesota that uses Taher’s hydroponic farming, Gil Shaw of Fork Farms in Appleton, Wisconsin, said in the release.

Frances Stevenson is a reporter for the Lakeshore Weekly News, covering the communities around Lake Minnetonka.

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