Aug 25, 2011

One Potato, Two Potato, Sweet Potato, Rude Potato

As fall nears, I am bringing some plants indoors for the winter and making mental plans for next year’s garden. Indoor plants help shorten the bleak Minnesota winter, and my new project is growing Sweet Potato Vine.

This is an excellent project for kids. The supplies are cheap—sweet potatoes (ask your grocery store for a “sprouted” bag and you might even score them free), toothpicks, glass jars and water, and the steps are simple:

·         cut a sweet potato in half

·          push toothpicks around its middle

·         suspend it over a jar filled with water (cut-side down) and wait

·         in a few days, you’ll see sprouts (change your water every week or so)

·         eventually, you’ll get bright chartreuse and purplish leaves

Along with reading the new book Talia and the Rude Vegetables, growing a sweet potato vine is an excellent Rosh Hashanah project. Just like the book’s protagonist, kids will learn what a root (not rude!) vegetable is, and get a little experience growing something themselves. Build anticipation for Rosh Hashanah by checking the plant’s growth every day. Try sampling some sweet potatoes and talking about how they are the perfect choice for a sweet new year.

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