MHS Agriculture Students Grow Microgreens for The Hotel Hershey
This summer, as part of a nine-week internship opportunity, Milton Hershey School students interested in Agricultural and Environmental Education collaborated with The Hotel Hershey to learn the business of growing and selling microgreens. They learned how to plant, properly grow, and cut microgreens. They also took crops to The Hotel Hershey to conduct a tasting survey with a dozen chefs.
Inspired by an earlier collaboration with the chefs at The Hotel Hershey to plant an herb garden on the hotel property, the summer interns built upon the relationship to learn more about the field of agri-business.
Microgreens are a high-value salad crop. They are used in restaurants to add bold flavor, color, and texture. The leafy vegetables are harvested soon after the seeds begin to grow and are used for salads, garnishes, and sandwiches.
MHS started growing microgreens in 2018, but it did not flourish until the collaboration began this summer with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R). It took several months to work out the business side of the project, and the first order was placed this fall.
“This project is an exciting opportunity for MHS students to experience the farm-to-table business model including the process of receiving product orders, filling the orders, and invoicing a vendor,” said Nanette Huffman, MHS Senior Director of Curriculum and Instruction.
Currently, The Hotel Hershey has a standing weekly order of six types of plants that its chefs use in three of the restaurants. The plants include garnet red amaranth, popcorn seeds, tendril peas, spicy mustard mix, mild mustard mix, and basil. The weekly orders are prepared by an after-school student intern and the MHS plant club.
“These plants are fresher than anything the hotel can order in,” said Jason Smith, MHS Instructional Advisor at the Horticultural Center. “They’re getting a great product and helping teach our students.”
Through this local partnership and the guidance of staff, and HE&R employees, students benefit from hands-on learning opportunities and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) curriculum.
Learn more about our comprehensive STEAM curriculum and Agriculture and Environmental Education program.