Vermont School Garden

A visit to a Vermont public school garden through the seasons.

Diggin’ Potatoes

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Potato Latkesfrying latkes

We still have lots of potatoes stored at Harlow Farm and they’re a great source for scientific theory. Our question for this class of “Science You Can Eat,” was: “Do you think potatoes have water in them and why or why not?” This is a question loaded with potential for empirical response especially among the six and seven year olds. response potato questonsOne response: Yes because they need water to grow. Here is an opportunity to record and test out theory for perhaps one of the first times.

By the way, many potatoes are 80% water! We peeled and grated our potatoes. Then we spread them on a clean cloth napkin and sprinkled them with salt. The salt draws the water from the potatoes. We then rolled the napkins tight and squeezed out the water. Magic! All that water from summer growth was indeed stored inside the potatoes. The rest of the potato is mostly starch, though I’m guessing you knew that already. The average potato also contains small amounts of simple sugars, which are important for developing the golden-brown color of fried and roasted potatoes. Overall, a potato has a lower carbohydrate content than other roots and tubers and a plain boiled potato has less calories than the equivalent weight of plain boiled rice, pasta or bread.  It’s said that when men were dying from scurvy during the Klondike Gold Rush, potatoes were sold for their weight in gold. This is because potatoes were, and are, a very good source of vitamin C. 1/4 lb. of freshly harvested spuds, boiled in their skins, gives about 50% of an adult’s typical recommended daily intake.
After School Cooks then combined the grated potatoes with flour, eggs, onion and other ingredients to make potato pancakes.

We ate our pancakes with homemade applesauce. No one could eat enough of these yummy treats. The recipe is at the bottom of this post.

using a peelergrating teamusing peelers

testing out water in potato theory

testing out water in potato theory

learning to crack eggsoldest get to cook

apple sauce and latkesRecipe: Potato Latkes


Author: vermontschoolgarden

I have been an elementary teacher at the Westminster Center School for 30 years. For most of those years, I maintained a garden as part of my teaching curriculum resource. Now I am the Garden Coordinator for all of the Westminster Center School classrooms.

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