A Fun, Chilly Day for “Spuds” and “Tubers”
On Martin Luther King Day, 4-H members from Flagler, Putnam, and St. John’s counties spent the morning of their day off from school outside planting and learning about potato crop. It was a chilly, windy day out at the UF/IFAS Research Farm in Hastings, but the 4-Hers didn’t seem to mind as they filled their containers full of soil, mixed in fertilizer, and planted their potato seeds with “eye facing up”. “Do you think it will grow?” I was asked by several of the kids.
The Tri-county Potato Project is open to all members ages 5-18. A series of events designed to increase agriculture awareness, The Tri-county potato project introduces 4-Hers to all aspects of where their food comes from, and the science, technology, creativity, problem solving, and hard work it takes to make a food product.
This year, participants were divided into two main groups. Those aged 5-11, the “Spuds” learned how to plant potatoes in the field as well as in containers to take home. They also participated in activities to teach them about common potato crop pests and diseases and created a potato artwork craft.
The “Tubers” ages 12-18, were challenged according to their age group. They were given the opportunity to engage in precision agriculture through designing and creating a potato seed planting prototype, and ag marketing concepts through making their own potato product package following specific guidelines.
Later in the Spring, the 4-Hers will return to the farm for another field day to harvest their crop. Hopefully we will hear stories of their own successful potato plants at home as well. One of the great things about this program is that it changes slightly every year. As 4-hers participate each year they will learn different aspects of agriculture through the potato crop.
Click here for a short video about the Tri-County Potato Project from last year created by St. John’s county.
If you are interested in joining in or volunteering for Flagler County 4H Youth Development Program, please visit Florida 4H Online and contact Amy Warwick Hedstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-437-7464