Story and photos submitted by Robin Jenkinson
The past two springtimes, students at Salt Spring Elementary planted purple and yellow potatoes in burlap sacks in their school garden, then in September, they harvested, washed, sliced and fried them up on a camp stove in the garden with oil, salt and dipped in ketchup. Teachers and students agree, there’s no better way to teach and learn about the life cycle of a plant than growing, tending, and finally, eating the fruits of their labour! This is a true example of hands-on, place-based learning.
This spring, life is different. But potato sacks grow on! This time, students (and teachers!) are planting at home.
Thanks to upcycled burlap sacks from Mt. Maxwell Coffee and the Salmonid Enhancement Group, plus soil from Country Grocer, and an earlier contribution from the SSI Garden Club, three classes so far have offered “Sacka-Potata” activities to families in the form of a burlap sack filled with soil, a paper bag of seed potatoes, and a couple of worksheets, dropped at the end of their driveways and left for a day to make sure all soft surfaces were virus-free.
Parents with gardens, without, or even farming families have requested sacks so that their children can care for their own little garden project and share among classmates. Tiny new potatoes will be ready to harvest in June.
- The worksheets are borrowed from the BC Agriculture in the Classroom’s “Spud in a Tub” activity guide (pages 21-22).