The hidden harvest

Potatoes and Tiddlers

One of my favourite times of the week is working with the tiddlies at a nursery school. They are so open and accepting of what we do in the garden and gloriously thrilled by flowers to see and things to smell. We always plant potatoes, with limited success. Most times we do a potato session the children  focus very hard on what the eyes are and making sure they get covered up to sleep.

After the first year of no harvest, when the children dug the potatoes up almost weekly and sometimes daily to check on them I learnt a valuable lesson about working with this age group. After they’ve gone indoors muddy and happy I dig most of the chitted potatoes up again and hide them somewhere else in the garden. It’s so important to have tiddlies get used to putting their hands in the dirt but equally important to hide anything you actually want to grow.

A potato

A potato on some soil


Summary of contents of clubs and classes

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In both club and class we aim to include the following:

  • We grow vegetables
  • We eat vegetables
  • We grow fruit
  • We eat fruit
  • We sow seeds and examine seeds
  • We create our own plant parts diagram or picture
  • We thin and transplant seedlings and look at the plant lifecycle
  • We make paper pots and recycle
  • We brighten up our space with garden craft
  • We water and weed and compost and generally look after the outdoor space
  • We talk individually about our own dream garden and favourite plants
  • Each week we try a different fruit or vegetable and discuss whether we like it or not
  • When it rains we find a space inside and write and draw in our garden journals
  • We do puzzles, wordsearchs, bingo and games based around what we have been learning so far to help clarify our knowledge
  • We talk individually about our own dream garden and favourite plants and we create a plan for changing the space we have at school into a dream garden
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PlayGroundology emerging social science


by Jack Monroe, bestselling author of 'A Girl Called Jack'