My dream for the potato project is that it will grow up to the sky and my hope is that we can donate hundreds of potatoes to the Food Bank because I know fresh potatoes wll make a family happy and lucky. We can help people who have less than us.
– Tatyana, Devonshire Grade 4
What is The Potato Project, you ask?
The Potato Project is an innovative youth-led project created and brought to life by the students at Heritage Academy in 2012. After several years of successful organic gardening at their school, students wanted a way to share the fruits of their labour with their community – The Potato Project was born. Students worked hard to create “potato barrels” from up-cycled olive barrels, cutting them into three stackable pieces in which the potatoes would grow vertically. Heritage Academy then partnered with the Ottawa Food Bank’s Community Harvest Program where potato donations from the project would go.The Potato Project deservably drew a lot of attention from community members and the media – over 60 people participated, including 5 Growing Up Organic Schools!
Growing Up Organic is proud to continue to support this amazing project by encouraging our schools to participate in their own way by dedicating a portion of their organic gardens to potatoes for donation to their nearest Ottawa Food Bank agency. Learn more about how you can participate below.
To find out more about the beginnings of The Potato Project check out these cool videos and articles!
How can you participate?
If your school has a garden with Growing Up Organic, participating in the Potato Project is as simple as letting us know you are interested! We’ll set you up with a donation of seed potatoes and guide you in the planting and caring of your organic tubers. While intitially The Potato Project was designed for barrels, potatoes can easily be grown in a dedicated space in your very own raised beds if you don’t have a barrel. We will feature participating schools and their donations on this page in the fall.
What you make of this experience is up to you! Check out how students at Devonshire Public School brought the Potato Project to life in 2012!
Connecting with your local food bank agency
Growing Up Organic can also help you connect with your local food pantry or food bank agency. Walking your donation over in the fall can be a tremendously rewarding activity for your students. Find your closest food bank by using the Ottawa Food Bank Look-Up Tool.
The Potato Project in the Classroom
The Potato Project is an unmatched opportunity to bring food security and nutrition issues into your classroom. We’ve collected some resources below that will help you tie in your potato planting and donating to lesson plans.
Smart Potatoes Lesson Plans – From REAL School Gardens, a US-based school garden program with a similar project for donations of potatoes from school gardens
Lesson plan: local hunger in the elementary classroom – a resource for discussing hunger with your students from Free the Children.
Hunger and Your Community – a lesson plan for grade 6-8 students from Learning to Give
2014 Participating Schools