Spuds in Tubs

Spuds in Tubs

Spuds in Tubs

Connecting Students to Agriculture

Students get such a kick out of digging into the soil, wrapping their hands around a potato, and yanking it out of the ground — roots and all! It’s even better when they’ve planted the seed potato and tended the plant themselves. Potato plants are the ideal teaching crop: they can be planted in containers, they have a short growing season, and they can be harvested before the end of the school year. And, they’re healthy and delicious!

BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation (BCAITC) has been providing schools across the province with an opportunity for teachers to grow potatoes in the classroom since 2006. For schools that may not have the resources for a garden, or that may just want a way of getting started down that path, Spuds in Tubs provides teachers with all the necessary materials and instructions they'll need for growing their very own potatoes. Once you’re registered, a one-hour workshop provides everything you need to know about the program, from planting to harvesting. This hands-on learning experience will enable you to bring a genuine, contagious enthusiasm for growing potatoes to your K-12 classrooms.

We provide everything you’ll need, including seed potatoes, soil, and tubs for the plants. Plant your seed potatoes in early March (before spring break) and tend them — lots of water, sunshine, and plant food — until they are ready to be harvested. In early June, the plants will die back and it’s time to dig up your potato garden. Your students will love the taste of really fresh potatoes, and they’ll take pride in the fact that they grew them themselves.

Here’s a timeline for your classroom potato season:

September: contact us regarding participation

October: register for a workshop near you

November: participate in a workshop in your area

February: you receive your Spuds in Tubs classroom growing kit

Early March: plant your seed potatoes in the tub

April: move your plants outside during the day for extra sunshine

May/June: water and feed your potato plants

Early June: harvest time!

Spuds in Action

Spuds in Tubs in Action

Primary students share how much they enjoy growing and harvesting potatoes in our PowerPoint presentation.

 

West Vancouver Secondary

West Vancouver Secondary: Soil Contamination Experiment 

We used the potatoes for an experiment in soil contamination and phytoremediation. We doped the spuds with lead nitrate and tried to see how soil pH affected uptake in different parts of the plant. I took pictures of the different test conditions for the spuds. [Here is] one of the lead/lime treatment. Thanks for this opportunity. It has created some great questions for the students, and has helped us to get linked up with some great programs. — Gord Trousdell, West Vancouver Secondary

Richmond Christian

 
Richmond Christian Middle School

We planted Warba seed potatoes in mid-March in the classroom. After 25 days, the potato plants were ready to be moved outside to continue growing in the natural elements. My grade 7 students experimented with two types of soil to see which one produced the biggest harvest. The class carefully documented and observed their new potato plants, and there was much excitement at harvest time in mid-June. — Mr. Reimer, Richmond Christian Middle School

Sign Us Up!

Spuds in Tubs has been such a success that we are having a hard time keeping up with demand — that’s a lot of potatoes and tubs to source! We typically have a running waitlist for the program that carries on from year to year.

To add your K-12 classroom to our waitlist, please contact the program coordinator, Glenda Johnston, at any time during the school year. After you express interest in participating, a notification will be sent when a spot becomes available. Remember, the sooner you sign up, the sooner you’ll be attending a program workshop, then planting potatoes in your classroom.

We are now offering teachers the opportunity to be sponsored into the program. A one-time, tax-deductible donation of $100 to BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation (BCAITC) will ensure your enrollment for 2019/2020. Your sponsor can be your PAC, your school, your school district, yourself, or a private supporter.

Registration for teachers returning to the program starts mid-September.

Would you like to sponsor a Spuds in Tubs classroom? To find out more, please visit our Donate page.

A Crop of Resources!

To help ensure Spuds in Tubs runs as smoothly as possible in your classroom, we provide a  handbook that guides you every step of the way, from planting to enjoying your harvest.

If you’ve missed this year's intake and would like to grow potatoes on your own, you can download our Spuds in Tubs step by step guide or order a copy from our Educational Resources page.

And, there’s more:

Unit and Lesson Plans for Spuds in Tubs

Picture-Perfect Potatoes — Middle School Unit

BC Potato Facts from Grow BC: A Guide to BC Agriculture Resources — Middle School Unit

BC Seed Potato Facts from Grow BC: A Guide to BC Agriculture Resources — Middle School Unit

We have a number of classroom resources that provide helpful information on growing food, along with visuals to enhance Spuds in Tubs cross-curriculum teaching opportunities. All of our general resources are available as downloads or can be ordered from us directly. 

Posters

Our posters are a great way of making connections to agriculture in your classroom!

Dig in for Dinner (English)

Dig in for Dinner (French)

Grow BC Map

It All Starts Here

What Does It Take to Produce Food? 

Partners Make It Possible — Thank You!

Thank you to all of our partners for their support and help in making Spuds in Tubs such a success. With their involvement, we are able to continue bringing the potato planting, caring, and harvesting experience to students in classrooms throughout the province.

Funding:

BC Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Canadian Western Bank

W & A Farms — Richmond

Partners:

Art Knapp — Courtenay

Benjamin Moore — Abbotsford 

Buckerfield's — Abbotsford, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Saanich, Salmon Arm, W. Kelowna

C Y Grower Supplies Ltd.

Dykhof Nurseries & Florist — North Vancouver

GardenWorks — Burnaby/Lougheed

GardenWorks — Mandeville

Grow & Gather — Maple Ridge

Hunters Garden Centre — Surrey, Vancouver

Minter Country Garden — Chilliwack

MNP — Leslie McConnell

PEI Bag Company

Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

Sticks 'N Stones Nursery

TerraLink Horticulture Inc.

Vandeven Financial Solutions Ltd. 

Join Us!

To find out how you or your business can support this exciting program, contact BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation or check out our Partnership Opportunities.

Teachers and Parents Ask the Best Questions

1. What is Spuds in Tubs?

Spuds in Tubs is a program designed to teach students how to grow potatoes in tubs by starting the growing process in the classroom and eventually moving the tubs outside in the spring. This hands-on experience shows students how fun and easy it is to grow their own food.

2. How does it work?

Teachers first sign up for a one-hour workshop to learn about the program, which follows this timeline:

February: you receive your Spuds in Tubs classroom growing kit

Early March: plant your seed potatoes in the tub

April: move your plants outside during the day for extra sunshine

May/June: water and feed your potato plants

Early June: harvest time!

4. What kind of potatoes do we grow?

We provide early Warba seed potatoes, as they can be planted, grown, and harvested before school ends in June.

5. Who is Spuds in Tubs designed for?

Spuds in Tubs was originally designed for elementary grade levels, but middle and secondary classrooms are joining and benefitting from the learnings of this program. Easy to manage and integrate into the curriculum, it’s also a great way to show students how to grow healthy vegetables to eat.

6. How do I sign up?

Contact our program coordinator, Glenda Johnston.

484
Classrooms
12,100
Students
2,240
Tubs
114,742
Potatoes Harvested
grape
We’re here to help!

Have questions about our programs?

Contact us at: info@aitc.ca or call 1(866) 517-6225

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