Kids love potatoes: mashed, blended, and roasted. Kids can discover a whole rainbow of potato varieties: white, yellow, blue flesh, with brown, red, and purple skins. Kids can plant organic seed potatoes or old organic potatoes that have started to sprout from the potato “eyes”. The best way is to buy certified organic disease and virus resistant seed potatoes and save some of the harvest to plant again. Kids can plant potatoes in a large Potato Grow Bag with a side pocket to check on the potato’s growth. The grow bag air-prunes the roots for stronger, healthier plants, aerates the soil, prevents heat build-up, and allows excess water to drain, but needs to be watered often. A small grow bag works well for one plant, which can produce around 20 potatoes on a patio or balcony.
Kids can cut the potato into 1 ½ inch pieces containing an eye or two and dry the pieces for a couple of days. Half-fill the grow bag with organic soil, like Dr. Earth’s Organic Pot of Gold Potting Soil with compost and beneficial soil microbes. Plant them 8 inches deep with any sprouts facing upward and a foot of growing space around each piece. Kids can water to keep the soil moist and cover the sprouted greens with mulch and compost as they grow to protect the potatoes from becoming toxic in the direct sunlight. Keep adding compost until the soil is at the top of the bag. After 10 – 12 weeks, kids can watch the potato flowers bloom and die back. Kids can dig in the soil and check if the potatoes are ready to harvest. In areas where the ground doesn’t freeze, kids can leave the potatoes in the ground until needed.