The Potato Project


The Heritage Academy’s Potato Project is an amazing example of innovation, creativity, and spreading awareness.

For the last six years the school’s Vice Principal, Derek Rhodenizer, has been growing a school garden with his students as a fun learning experience. He began to ask himself, “can we begin to give some of our garden’s food to those who need it?” While in discussion with the Ottawa Food Bank he discovered that yes, he can!

Building on the concept of the national program Plant a Row – Grow a Row – where gardeners grown an extra row of veggies and donate them to their local food bank, Derek and his students came up with the concept of the Potato Project.

Derek would love to get his students, other schools, individuals and families in the community, as well as business involved.

What is the Potato Project?

Participants will receive a modified Olive Barrel (about the size of a garbage can) with everything they need to start growing their very own potato tower (potato starts, soil, and a “how to” manual), all for a donation of about $15.

The launch date is on April 27 at the Heritage Academy. People wishing to participate are asked to contact Derek beforehand, and join him and his students at the school around their very own garden.

If maintained properly, each barrel could yield 40 lbs of potatoes! The Heritage Academy’s goal at the end of the growing season is to be able to donate 1,000 lbs of potatoes to the Ottawa Food Bank through the collaborative effort of everyone involved.

Not sure if you have enough space to participate? Derek says if you have a sunny area with enough room for a garbage can, you can take part!

Listen to Derek explain it all on CBC’s Ottawa Morning Show.

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More ways to get in touch can be found here.




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