North Dakota enlists kids to try growing new spud varieties

04/25/2014 12:49:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

peter wilcox potatoCourtesy Agricultural Research ServicePeter Wilcox is one of the potato varieties included in the Potato Pirates Program.Kids in North Dakota are being encouraged to dig for buried treasure through the Potato Pirates Project.

The treasure actually are new potato varieties that participants can grow and harvest in the fall, according to a news release.

The free potato growing kits are offered to children 4-17 years old, and North Dakota State University will provide one kit per child but no more than two kits per household.

They are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Although the kits are free, children and their guardians must promise to grow the potatoes and evaluate them.

Each kit comes with two different varieties of their choice and growing directions. Participants must report which variety grew and tasted better at the end.

Among the varieties are red, blue and gold potatoes.

"Kids can plant the potatoes this spring and then dig for the buried treasure of tubers this fall," Extension horticulturist Tom Kalb said in the release. "Imagine eating blue french fries or pink mashed potatoes."

Potato Pirates is part of the University's Junior Master Gardener program.

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