Nuggets of Learning
Teachers - do you want to inspire your K-12 students to learn about agriculture? Sign up for Spuds in Tubs! The program provides wonderful “nuggets of learning” for K-12 BC students! With this innovative hands-on program, classrooms grow potato plants from seed potatoes. From March to June each year, students dig in the soil, plant seed potatoes, tend to the plants, learn about agriculture, and then harvest hundreds of potatoes to eat!
Spuds in Tubs provides valuable hands-on gardening experiences for all ages! From planting in March to harvesting the plants in June, students learn about agriculture. Students observe, make predications, water, and measure the plants. Teachers can also connect the Spuds in Tubs program to Science, Math, Social Studies, Home Economics, and more subjects through curriculum-linked resources.
Growing by Leaps and Bounds
The Spuds in Tubs program started in 2006 and has grown exponentially! In fact, so much so that teachers are on a year-on-year-off cycle of participation. In the 2020-2021 school year, BCAITC provided 442 teachers the opportunity to teach this program to an incredible 11,000 K-12 students. Classrooms harvested 106,522 potatoes (that’s a lot of spuds)! There were 123 new teachers added to the program in 2020-2021 (the largest number of new teachers in the program’s history)! For the 2022 school year, there are 500 teachers on the list to participate. So, every 2 years nearly 1,000 classrooms are growing spuds with BCAITC.
Potato plants are the ideal teaching crop for all areas of BC! They can be planted in containers (situated indoors or outdoors), they have a short growing season, they can be harvested before the end of the school year. Spuds in Tubs is operating in schools in dozens of urban, suburban, and rural communities of BC. It reaches the far corners of our province including remote communities like Tappen, Old Masset, Logan Lake, Windermere, and Alert Bay.
Get in on the Action
Teachers are invited to sign their classrooms up for the 2022 Spuds in Tubs program! To add your K-12 classroom to our list, please contact the program coordinator, Glenda Johnston, from September 13 to 30. After you express interest in participating, a notification will be sent when a spot becomes available. The sooner you sign up, the sooner you’ll be attending a program workshop, then planting potatoes in your classroom.
The program is extremely popular in BC schools! Below are just a few of the many reasons. Spuds in Tubs:
- Offers valuable agriculture education plus and opportunity to extend the learnings to other K-12 subject areas.
- Provides a bounty of nutritious food (potatoes are rich in Vitamin C, potassium, minerals, and fibre) for classrooms to share with schoolmates, friends, and family.
- Gives students the opportunity to cook with potatoes and try dozens of potato-based recipes from BCAITC’s Chef Randle.
- Offers a fun and easy activity for all age levels to take part.
- Provides an opportunity to get outside and enjoy opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
- Offers a growing experience that offers positive mental and physical health benefits.
- Builds classroom cohesiveness and school well-being.
- Increases students' self-esteem and social connections through growing and gardening together.
- Builds a life-long love of nature.
Here are just a few of the many comments from teachers regarding their love for the program:
“They enjoyed being farmers and scientists- hands on learning made for a wonderful experience for all!” - Abigel Major, Hyland Elementary | Surrey
“We used this program to support prescribed learning outcomes as part of a unit on biodiversity and the environment.” - David Wellingham, Salmon Arm West Elementary | Salmon Arm
“Please thank the sponsors and the farmers for the opportunity to grow and harvest the potatoes. For most of the students, they had never had their hands in soil before.” - Glenys McFarlane, Hyland Elementary | Surrey
Partners Make It Happen
BCAITC is able to provide this program year after year thanks to wonderful partners that make this program possible. One of the programs key partners is Bill Zylmans of W&A Farms. Read about Bill's passion for BC agriculture and his dedication to educating BC students about potatoes here.
Thank you to our dozens of additional Spuds in Tubs partners: BC Potato and Vegetable Growers Association | BC Youth in Agriculture Foundation Benjamin Moore — Abbotsford | Canadian Western Bank | The Entomological Society of British Columbia | Farm Credit Canada | MNP — Leslie McConnell | Munro's Books | The Rotary Club of Langley | Royal Oak Women's Institute | Springford Farm | TerraLink Horticulture Inc. | Vandeven Financial Solutions Ltd./The Co-operators | Art Knapp — Courtenay | 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 | Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants | Sticks 'N Stones Nursery | Individuals: Robin Abra, Kurt Bausenhaus, Sara Bucovaz, Donna Jack, Sean Powell, Pollaris Raymond, Sophie Viswanathan, Angela Woods, John Knox Christian School Association, Norma Rose Point Elementary School