About ASAP

Growing Minds is a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

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This lesson plan has step by step instructions for cooking in the classroom and features literature and curriculum connections.


A delicious recipe for sweet potato fritters. The associated lesson plan includes instructions for making your own sweet potato slips.


Children use their sense to explore sweet potatoes and gain confidence in trying new vegetables. Students learn to identify a new vegetable. Students associate vegetables and fruits with a dynamic activity and positive experience.


One farmer can’t pull this potato out of the ground. But can the farmer, his wive, daughter, dog, cat, and mouse get this spud uncovered?

In this book, a girl discovers two old potatoes that have begun to sprout at the back of the cupboard. She goes to throw them away, but her dad suggests instead that they try to grow new potatoes from the old ones. The story details how they prepare the soil, care for the plants, and protect the plants from potato beetles. Their patience and hard work are rewarded with a brimming bucket of new potatoes.

This rhyming story is perfect for introducing young children to fruits and vegetables that grow up (like corn and peppers), down (like potatoes and carrots), and around (like cucumber and pumpkin vines).

From Growing Vegetable Soup, written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert.

Students at Cullowhee Valley Elementary School enjoy a taste test of local sweet potatoes with help from Western Carolina University pre-service teachers and dietitians through ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program!
Education and Nutrition Teachers: Use this video as a training tool for cafeteria taste tests!