BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Farm-to-table cooking is becoming more like office-to-table at Boardman Local Schools. A new system lets them grow fresh vegetables right in the building.

Over 140 heads of lettuce are growing at Boardman High School. Opening up the hydroponic system reveals heads of romaine, leaf lettuce and even some basil.

After the seeds are started, the lettuce takes about a month to grow.

“It gets light for 16 to 18 hours a day and water 24/7. It’s watered with a pump filtration system and it just grows. It’s amazing,” said food service director Natalie Winkle.

Winkle says in the past few years, there has been a big push for farm-to-table greens.

“Buying local is always awesome but you can’t get more local and fresh than growing it yourself,” she said.

It doesn’t get much fresher than right in the school. Long roots will let the lettuce last for three weeks in a cooler. It’s so fresh, you could eat it right out of the machine.

Winkle says this method is also cleaner and healthier than ordering lettuce, and this year, it might be hard to get from places like California.

“They’re flooded and can’t get their lettuce crops seeded, so we’re not going to get lettuce from California. They’re just not going to have it or the price is going to be through the roof. Our kids are going to have it,” Winkle said.

Winkle wants to get a hydroponic system in every Boardman school building. She also wants to try growing other fruits and veggies in it over the summer.

Winkle knows of a few other local schools trying out hydroponics and thinks it’ll become more common.

“I think a lot more hydroponics will be in schools but I’m just glad we were lucky enough to be able to get one and be one of the first to try it,” she said.