a journal of our edible education

Archive for April, 2013

April 1st Update

In the spirit of “If you can’t beat’em.. join’em”, OJA has hopped on the GMO bandwagon!  In case you aren’t familiar with the acronym, GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. These are living things that have been improved by having their DNA spliced with the DNA of some other living thing.  It’s like getting the best of two creatures in one!  (without the hassle of species differentiation) Our students are definitely reaping the benefits of this ground breaking technology.

As many of you may already know, for several years we have grown cotton on our campus.  We also have an expanding stand of sugar cane.  Wouldn’t it be great if these two species could be introduced to each other in a lab and come together to make something truly useful?

Surprise!  Organic Cotton Candy


Go ahead… eat your sweater.

Students are loving our recent addition, and there’s no need for a cotton gin.  The seeds taste like Red Hots!

IMG_3231It’s even harder now to bring students in from the garden.

IMG_3233 Added bonus:  The students return to class with an extra “boost” of energy that the teachers love.

We’ve also acquired seeds to a newly patented vegetable that blends the starchy goodness of a potato with the convenience of asparagus (which frankly… if asparagus weren’t so easy to pick, no one would eat it.)  Behold: Potatogus Crispicus, commonly known as the french fry plant.


Fertilizing the Seedlings


Water sparingly.

Here’s a helpful hint:  For smaller patio gardens consider the variety “shoestring”.  They do great in pots.  Also, if you choose “curly fries” we recommend you provide a trellis for them, as they tend to flop when grown unsupported.

Of course these delicious cuttings will need condiments and fortunately Heinz has pushed the scientific envelope. (or should we say “squeezed the packet”)  We now have as part of our  sponsored test garden a plant that makes it possible to grow our own ketchup!  For too long the tomato has been an unecessary and inconvenient step in the “seed to red goop” process.  With no refrigeration necessary and no expiration date, this is something really worth growing.IMG_3265

We’re not sure what other DNA was added to a tomato plant to make this marvel.  We’re not even sure it was DNA, but hey, we know better than to ask questions about our food.

So, what’s your favorite GMO?  Add yours in the comment section.