Creating a Tabletop Garden

Welcome to this month’s edition of the Poppins Book Nook!!  This month our theme is “To the Laboratory,” and I have to say that since we haven’t been doing much science recently, I was totally out of the laboratory groove.  However, I dug deeply into the book series we’ve been reading recently and I found an option or two for us to do.

We’ve been reading the book How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse from Cressida Cowell.  In this book, a young viking has been stung by a venomous vorpent dragon, and the only way for Hiccup to save his life is to find a potato.  The Vikings call the potato the vegetable that must not be named, and many Vikings believe that the potato is a mythological vegetable.  I share more thoughts about the plot and themes of this book in our most recent read-aloud post that you can find here.

As the story ends, Hiccup plants an arrow that has spent 15 years saturated inside a frozen potato, soaking in the juices and a single potato grows.  Because of this potato, more potatoes are grown until all of the Barbaric archipelago is covered with potatoes.  Although I cannot confirm or deny that an arrow that spent 15 years marinating in a potato’s juices will sprout a potato, I realized that I could show the children how potatoes and other root vegetables actually sprouted.

How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse

This is one of those experiments where I just used what I had on hand in the house.  You’re going to need some clear jars or cups.  I happen to have a whole case of these nice see-through cups that one of my Hubby’s co-workers gave us, and they come in very handy for experiments like these. 🙂  You’ll need some root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, onions, and turnips.  I didn’t have any turnips, but I did decide to throw in a celery stalk, just for fun.  You’ll also need toothpicks or skewers to hold your vegetables upright in the water.


The  first thing you’re going to want to do is to cut big slices off of each of the vegetables.  My children very quickly did this, and were thrilled to get the opportunity to use a knife!  You’re also going to fill up the glasses with water.


Once the cutting is done and the glasses are filled up, all you need to do is to use your toothpicks or skewers to pierce through your vegetables so that you can set them in the cup where they are partially in the water and partially out of the water.  They’ll look kind of like this, except you’ll probably have nice small toothpicks, and I only had big-poke-your-eye-out skewers.


That’s really all there is to it.  Our garden has only been set up for four days, so I can’t give you a finished project, but I do have to say that Rose was incredibly disgusted yesterday when she realized that something was beginning to sprout out of the bottom of the onion.


And that’s about it.  Now, comes the sitting and waiting as we start to see some root systems develop and some green shoot out of the top over the next couple of weeks.  If you’re looking for more book activities, please go an visit the other contributors to Poppins Book Nook.

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

The wonderful bloggers that participate in the Poppins Book Nook are:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in Godís Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathyís Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ My Bright Firefly ~A Mommyís Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A ìPeaceî of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am  ~ Simple Living Mama

And, of course, don’t forget to link up your own science-themed book activity posts here:


*Clip Art By Melonheadz


5 thoughts on “Creating a Tabletop Garden

  1. This is a neat idea to learn how to grow food from the “scraps”! We have to try our hand at this!

    Thank you for helping to bring a spoonful of reading fun to the Poppins Book Nook this month!

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