Or so Morvan hopes. Because then, and only then, will the potato be a suitable candidate for the garbage garden, a little bit of hog heaven in Morvan's 1st grade class in Northfield (Vt.) Elementary School.
"Anything that will sprout in your refrigerator is the kind of thing you can put in a garbage garden,'' Morvan says. "Kids can discover a disgusting potato at home, bring it into school, and watch it grow into a plant.''
Morvan's garden consists of a small tray of soil, lighted with two fluorescent grow lamps. Of course, garbage-- potato cuttings, carrot tops, avocado pits and the like--is not the only crop, nor, for that matter, the only project. "We also introduce them to seed studies, thinning activities, and so on,'' she says.
Trash, on the other hand, has that slimy, yucky quality that is so
immensely appealing to the 1st grade mind. "They think it's neat,''
Morvan says, "especially if they've initiated the garbage. They treat
it with tender
loving care, make reports, and draw pictures. They like the idea that something beautiful can come from something so ugly. But they also learn something about regeneration, recycling, and the environment.''