One special project that REAL School Gardens does with our school partners is our Smart Potatoes Initiative. For Smart Potatoes, participating schools have children spend 100 days growing potatoes, charting their progress, making predictions, and graphing their results. This year, REAL School Gardens has 40 schools participating! Once the potatoes are grown and harvested, children donate them to local food pantries, learning that it feels great to give to those in need. If you're interested in doing your own Smart Potatoes program at your school, our lesson plans are below. Pictures and more details from previous years can be found in this blog entry.
Our educator Ellen says that for Texas, they start around Valentines Day and use Red LaSoda seed potatoes. Grow them in simple raised beds or grow sacks with loose soil. Remember that soil can also be layered on top to get more potatoes growing.
Introducing Potatoes/ Plants that Grow Food
Planting Potatoes/ Meeting Plant Needs
Potato Plant Growth Rate Patterns
Plant Processes and Food Energy
Harvesting Potatoes Sizes Numbers Weight