Spend an afternoon with farmer Chue Lee and her daughter Ariel at Lee’s One Fortune Farm in McDowell County, North Carolina. The Lee’s grow many interesting crops on their family farm, including the purple sweet potatoes and bok choy (an Asian leafy green vegetable that is related to cabbage) seen in this video. They also grow Asian pears and persimmons, bitter melon, several varieties of rice, and more. The Lee’s sell their produce at farmers tailgate markets throughout Asheville. Learn more about the history of this family farm and the rice they grow.
This video could be used as the starting point to explore many topics with students, including soil, worms, sweet potatoes, nutrition/trying new vegetables, and farm life. Relevant Growing Minds lesson plans and extension activities can be found below.
Lesson Plans & Resources
- Garden Color Hunt lesson plan
- Veggie Crowns lesson plan
- What Plants Need lesson plan
- Sweet Potato Exploration lesson plan
- Sweet Potato Applesauce no-heat recipe lesson plan
- Sweet Potato Fritters recipe lesson plan
- Soil Exploration lesson plan
- Soil Amendment lesson plan
- Soil Temperature lesson plan
- Root Exploration lesson plan
- Worm Exploration lesson plan
- Seasons on a Farm lesson plan
- Harvesting in the Garden lesson plan
Viewing Comprehension Questions
- What kinds of animals are seen in this video? Hint, they’re small! (grasshopper, worm)
- What is the farm structure called that has clear walls and is used to keep plants warm? (a greenhouse)
- Do sweet potatoes grow above ground or under ground? (the part we eat is a root that grows underground, while the plant’s leaves and stems grow above ground)
Activity Extension: Use Your Imagination
In this video, Chue and Ariel look at a freshly harvested sweet potato and imagine that it looks like a rat and a warthog. Give children/students a fruit or vegetable to examine. Ask them to use their imaginations to look at the produce in a different way. What do they think the fruit or vegetable looks like? Does it look like a face? An Animal? An object? Have them draw a picture of what they imagine the fruit or veggie could be. Discuss and compare what different children imagined, or make a chart or graph of their imagined creations.
Activity Extension: Vegetable Colors
In this video, Chue and Ariel are harvesting purple sweet potatoes. Sometimes the skin of the sweet potato is a different color than the flesh inside. Sweet potatoes are commonly orange on the inside with brownish skin, but they come in many colors. Have your students ever eaten a purple sweet potato? Do they know what other colors sweet potatoes come in (white, yellow, red, purple, brown). As a class, make a list of other fruits and vegetables that can be purple (eggplants, cabbage, carrots, string beans, potatoes, turnips, peppers, figs, plums, grapes, etc.). Have your students ever eaten a purple vegetable? What about a purple fruit? Can students name a vegetable that matches every color of the rainbow?
Finally, talk to students about the importance of “eating the rainbow“, aka eating fruits and vegetables of many different colors in order to maintain a healthy, nutritious diet.
Journal Prompt: Farm Chores
Lee’s One Fortune Farm is a family farm–a small farm where family members pitch in and help with farm chores, like planting and harvesting crops, pulling weeds, cleaning, or feeding animals. In this video, Ariel is seen helping her mom harvest sweet potatoes. What chores do students help with around their house? Do they think that helping each other is an important part of being a family? If they lived on a farm, what do they think some of their farm chores might be? Would they enjoy living on a farm? Why or why not?