Vermont School Garden

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

Sweeeeeet Potatoes

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digging up sweet potatoes 2nd grades

digging up sweet potatoes 2nd grades

Thanks to the Vermont Community Garden Network, we were able to plant sweet potato slips last summer. The second graders came out to harvest them a week ago.

I’ve never grown sweet potatoes. They grow from ‘slips,’ cuttings from last year’s potato vines. They love warm soil; sometimes putting a dark tarp over them helps them along. They produce a LOT of vines that have to be cleared back before digging them up. They come in all shapes and sizes. They never fail to astonish kids and grown-ups alike when they’re being harvested.

looking for potatoes

looking for potatoes

strangely shaped potatoes

strangely shaped potatoes

sweets and whites

sweets and whites

peeling sweet potatoes

peeling sweet potatoes

The amount of teamwork and the kids’ use of age appropriate metaphors (“It’s like a loose tooth!”) are pretty impressive in a video I took, which unfortunately can’t be uploaded.

The second graders weighed their harvest and they nicknamed the largest potato, “Big Red.”

We baked some potatoes into fries. They’re pretty sweet already, but as the harvested potatoes age in a dry warm place, they’re supposed to get sweeter. We’ll see!

mixing in corn starch and olive oil

mixing in corn starch and olive oil

out of the oven ready to eat

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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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