First „pot-potatoe” harvest collected
Māris, Māris and Bella, indeed, those are not the names of Riga Dome Choir School pupils, but potatoe sorts that pupils chose to grow. But it would not be a lie if we decided to call it „pupils” that had been in class excursions, summer houses or even jumped up-and-down on a trampoline and witnessed many other summer days of school children.
The campaign is a part of „Rīga 2014” project called „Kartupeļu opera” („Potatoe opera”). School children from Latvia will be able to join the „pot-potatoe” growing in order to see a real opera dedicated to a potatoe also joining in several educational and interactive activities on the upcoming site www.kartupelis.lv. Besides, the secret „Karupeļu biedrība” („Potatoe foundation”) will be founded, as well. All the children who are determined to take care of their special „friends” they grow on „pots” will become the foundation members.
Entirely six classes from Riga Dome Choir School were growing potatoes in pots, some of them showed their „production” a few weeks ago during the event „Lauki ienāk pilsētā” („Countryside coming in the city”), but classes 3A, 3B and the 6th agreed to weight and measure their harvest in front of our photographers.
Inese Beķere, the project producer, tells that potatoe sorts given from „Aloja Starkalsen” Ltd. were brought at school on the last days of May, so, those were planted in pots in one of the last school year days. Each class used different methods (watering, weeding, soaking) for their „pot friends”. The active growing period for potatoe is summer when pupils are on holidays. So, every class had their schedule when every pupil had to take care of the upcoming harvest.
She also tells that there were parents who were not very happy about one more object to take care of, but, in the end, the pilot project worked out, no potatoe was really abandoned, so the harvest was collected more or less from every pot. Besides, the great adventures of each growing potatoe were documented in photos and stories creating a unique diary about summer holidays and vegetable growing itself.
Inese tells her children in a comforting manner, it’s ok that not every potatoe blooms, it’s a matter of specific sort. A piece of plastic film is put on the ground, children take out the potatoe harvest with their tiny little hands. In one of the pots, some earthworms sneak between a big potatoe, a bunch of new vegetables apper in some other pot. A potatoe bunch giving more than 600 grams of vegetables „wins the competition”.
In that way, the sorts most suitable for „pot-growing” were tested. In January and February, classes from Latvia are going to receive potatoe seeds in order to continue growing as well as documenting an indispensable part of their daily routines.
Harvest measuring and scaling will be done in 2014, as well, the best breeders will receive rewards, for example, an excursion to „Aloja Starkelsen”, the initiators of „Kartupeļu opera”, and invitation to this event shown at The Latvian National Theatre
To find more about „Kartupeļu opera”, click here