News & Events
Jun 7, 2017
Potatoes with a purpose
by Connie Dunwoody
On Wednesday, May 31, 2017, students at St. Joseph’s Elementary School (SJV) in Victoria planted its third annual crop of potatoes.
The garden is a partnership with St. Joseph the Worker Parish and the school. Students learn, plant and harvest the spuds, and parents and parishioners support by tending the garden over the summer months. In late May, parishioners George Flint and Gary Skabeikas rototilled the space to prepare it for planting.
On Wednesday, ably assisted by teachers and volunteer Ed Ashmore, and with thorough instruction from teacher Jamie Zwicker, students plowed furrows, chose seed potatoes, and planted them a well-considered one foot apart.
This year, the garden is planted to honour the parish’s twinning project with Masithuthukisane (mas-ee-tu-tu-keh-sah-nee), run by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mariannhill, which is an organic farming project. The major goal of the project is to train and hire local unemployed men and women in the poorest areas of South Africa.
In 2015, 580 lbs of potatoes was reaped. Last year’s crop resulted in 1,550 lbs. This year, the school hopes for an even greater abundance; most of what is harvested will be donated to the 9–10 Club’s soup kitchen at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Thus, students not only learn valuable gardening skills, they also begin to understand the grace of working for someone else’s benefit.