Plants grown by aquaponics students at Morse•Marshall on sale at farmers markets

Saturdays at Outdoor Milwaukee Public Market; Sundays in Riverwest; Tuesdays at Fondy; Thursdays at Walker Square

MILWAUKEE – Plants and flowers from bamboo to basil, marigold to morning glory and peas to peppers – all grown by students participating in the aquaponics and sustainability program at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Samuel Morse•John Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented – are going on sale this summer at farmers markets across the city.


Students, along with aquaponics/sustainability teacher Thomas Baker, will sell plants, flowers and recycled art at these markets:

– Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Milwaukee Outdoor Urban Market, outside the Milwaukee Public Market in the city’s Third Ward, 400 N. Water Street, Milwaukee 53202

– Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Riverwest Gardeners Market, 821 E. Locust Street, Milwaukee 53212

– Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fondy Farmers Market, 2200 W. Fond du Lac Avenue, Milwaukee 53205

– Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Walker Square Farmers Market, 1029 S. 9th Street, Milwaukee 53204

The sales will raise money to support growing the aquaponics and sustainability program at Morse•Marshall. In the program, students engineer a system in which they grow fish, the fish waste fertilizes plants and the plants in turn filter the water for the fish.

“It teaches them to identify a problem and solve it,” Baker said. “Our students are getting a hands-on education in science and engineering that develops their critical thinking skills,” Baker said.

The school’s students have taken first- and second-place awards at the MPS Science Fair over the last two years and have presented their work to community partners including Growing Power. MPS’ science curriculum is based upon the rigorous Framework for K-12 Science Education, the basis for the Next Generation Science Standards.

Morse•Marshall student Matt Gruber with his first-place MPS Science Fair project: vertical aquaponics

Morse•Marshall student Matt Gruber with his first-place MPS Science Fair project: vertical aquaponics

Part of what will be on sale is the work of Matt Gruber, a rising Morse•Marshall senior, whose first-place MPS Science Fair project adapted the large-scale aquaponics system he saw on a school visit to Growing Power into a size that allows families to grow vegetables year-round in their own homes.

“I was growing vegetables all winter,” Gruber noted. He said he’s always been an independent thinker but the program has helped that blossom.

Morse•Marshall, which serves students in grades 6 through 12 who have a gifted and talented recommendation letter from a teacher, has a waiting list for 6th-grade seats but a handful of openings for 9th grade. Interested families should contact the school at (414) 393-2300.

Plants (not produce) on sale include: tomato, pepper, spider, bamboo, basil, parsley, chives, pea, bean, pumpkin, gore, squash, cucumber, cantaloupe, mint, corn and watermelon

Flower plants (in bloom) on sale include: sunflower, marigold, china astor, daises, morning glories, lavender and purple cornflower