LANCING College has recently taken delivery of its new GrowModule365, a portable hydroponic growing system.

This will allow the college catering team to grow their own leaves, herbs, young vegetables and soft fruit at any time of the year, for use in the school’s own kitchen as well as provide “living green” differentiation when catering for events and functions.

Alongside the college’s own Farm, the GrowModule enables the cultivation of large quantities of produce, cost-effectively and all year round, whether it’s day, night, winter or summer.

The advanced hydroculture enables the growing of plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent technology.

The advantages of hydroponic farming include enhanced nutritional value, less water usage and no harmful chemicals, minimal power consumption, and a quick turnaround as the process from seeding to harvesting usually takes no longer than ten days - all with the added benefit of zero food miles.

The first harvest produced an exceptional bounty of micro coriander, sorrel, marjoram, chives, nasturtium, pea shoots, choy sum, rocket leaves and lamb’s lettuce.

A week later, the second harvest brought a variety of baby vegetables: beetroots, turnips and leeks.

Hannah Bond, general manager of the catering department, said: “We look forward to providing our students with the highest quality fresh produce all year round.

“Being sustainable is certainly one of the objectives in the long term and this, alongside the college farm produce we already utilise in the kitchen, is another small step in the right direction.”

Paul Brown, managing director of GrowModule365 Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be working with the team at Lancing College.

“Their visionary approach to providing the very best fresh food and nutrition to diners presents a perfect canvas for a GrowModule365 unit.

“The benefits of freshly grown product and resulting cost saving opportunities are unquestionable, it’s a delight to work with a team who are so passionate.”

The module will also open up opportunities for students to learn about the science and technology behind hydroponic farming.