Photo Courtesy of “Seven Morris”.

There are several experiments that can be done in the classroom to demonstrate differences in food production. One that works particularly well and can be done within a manageable time frame is the Potato Experiment. The goal of the potato experiment is to see how quickly potatoes from various production methods will sprout.

To do the experiment you will need three types of potatoes: a potato that was grown in your school garden, an organic potato from the store and a regular potato(non-organic) from the store. You will also need three large glasses; preferably tall, see through glasses so it’s possible to track the root development of the potatoes. Finally, you will need some toothpicks to help hold the potato half-submerged in the glass. Use the picture to the left for assistance.

Have your class document the growth of the potatoes. Which one sprouts roots faster? Which one grows leaves sooner? Which one grows the most overall?
Have your class look into why there might be a difference or why there might not be a difference. If you’re doing the experiment with a high school class, you can have them examine the use of chlorprophan as a bud suppressant and how it works.