St. Andrew’s sweet lessons

Published 9:09 pm Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The students of St. Andrew Preschool on Bridge Road are learning nutrition, gardening and other healthy habits one sweet potato at a time.

The school is holding a sweet potato sale for families, coworkers, friends and others interested in locally grown sweet potatoes up until Oct. 28. The cost is $20 per box and they will be picked up during the first week of November to get a head start on Thanksgiving shopping.

These sweet potatoes are being provided by local farmer Mike Combs of Willie Mae Farms LLC. This is the fourth year that the school has held a sweet potato sale, St. Andrew Preschool co-director Carol Carnegie said, and the school has partnered with a local farmer each year to foster positive relationships with local small businesses like theirs.

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“We’re a small business too, besides being an educational institution, and we like to support other small businesses in the area,” Carnegie said.

October is also a time for the children at St. Andrew to learn by getting their hands dirty, like several that enjoyed digging in the dirt for sweet potatoes on Monday while answering questions about the starchy, sweet-tasting plants.

The lessons are based on curriculum from The Planning Council and encourage young children to rethink vegetables. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, of course.

When Yael Sanchez, 4, was asked what animals like to eat sweet potatoes, he started neighing like a horse.

“I was sounding like a horse, ‘cause horses love sweet potatoes,” Yael said as he sat at the playground table with fellow 4-year-olds George Sizemore and Ally Gaspar.

Shelley Barlow of Healthy Suffolk brought some sweet potatoes earlier that day to show the kids. The children said they looked and felt like footballs, and each football-like plant that they dug up was cleaned in cold water.

“It’s all about hands-on discovery, learning and playing while you’re learning,” Carnegie said.

To order the main ingredients for your sweet potato recipes through St. Andrew’s sale, call 714-2211.