Wednesday 26 June 2013

Potato harvest

This year,we have taken part in the Grow your own potatoes project. This is open to home educators, in the UK, with primary school aged children.

The project provides potato tubers, a chitting box, black bags for growing, stickers for dates and, on the website, teacher resources.
Chitting the potatoes
 The potato tubers provided were of the Rocket variety and a regional type. One extra Rocket tuber was sent so that it could be grown in a clear bottle to see the root structure.

We had a cold Spring. There was frost after we had planted the potatoes and although we had put them in a fairly sheltered spot, I was concerned that we might have lost them. This wasn't the case but the shoots were slow to emerge. The project has a set date for harvesting and weighing the potatoes, I guess, to fit with school holidays. My gut feeling when we got to the date was that the potatoes probably needed longer and sadly, I was right.

 The picture below is of our harvest-there were also some very, very tiny potatoes which might have grown more with a few more weeks.
 A rather sad 60g of the regional variety and 210g of Rocket. I didn't bother to enter the competition for the heaviest crop! They did taste good roasted although we did have to supplement them with other potatoes for this family of eight.

It is worth taking part in Grow your own Potatoes especially if your children haven't grown potatoes before. This is the second time that we have taken part and whilst seeing the tubers emerge from the soil is always exciting, it probably wasn't quite the learning experience that it was first time round. We probably need to make our own project for another year, growing something new to us!

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