Rain, rain, go away… We’ve got work to do in our garden and getting drenched while doing so isn’t our idea of fun. Okay, the kids might disagree with me there, but you get the idea. Sending them back to class with mud on their bodies and smiles on their faces is not how to make friends with the teacher. And I love teachers!
So we keep them on our good side, and reschedule our “swim.” Thank goodness we have a few classes where we can stagger the harvest. Middle schoolers had a ball digging through the dirt (never too old, are they?) and since it was their last class for the day, no problem. Teaching them the finesse of hunting for potatoes was another story.
You see, when you harvest your potatoes, you must do so with some restraint. Dive-bombing your shovel into the dirt is not helpful, because you will likely tear the skin of your hidden gems before you ever see them. And torn, ripped up potatoes do not store as well as clean, bruise-free, stab-free ones do. So tread lightly, proceed with caution. Use your tool to loosen the dirt around the potato plant and then gently dig through with gloved hands. Middle schoolers opted to go glove-free. Go figure.
But they were successful! “Throw me another one for the bucket!”
“Ack! Don’t throw it–don’t you remember me telling you to be gentle?”
Now keep digging–we’ve got a harvest to prepare! Friday is cooking class and the middle school students learned to prepare the potatoes for consumption for the rest of us to eat them. (It’s a good gig, if you can get it!) But one thing’s for sure, we won’t eat them raw. Consuming raw potatoes will make you sick. Green face. Bad belly.
And why would you consider raw when the students pull this pan out of the oven? Hmm… The room smelled absolutely divine when I walked in. Potatoes, cabbage, sweet onions and carrots and bacon (unfortunately the sweet onions and carrots in our school garden aren’t quite ready yet). I’ve posted the recipe in the Savory section of the website for all those kids who want to “try this at home.”
Many will. Most came back for seconds and it all goes to prove the point: “Vegetables taste better when you grow them yourself!”
Seriously. They do! This week’s lesson was Organic Mulch Basics.