Bear vs. Hare: who gets the benefits of a bountiful harvest?

June 13, 2012 | 2:06 pm

One of my favorite children’s books is Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens. It is a cute little story about a hare who outwits a bear in the garden. Through several garden seasons, the bear learns that his garden is full of vegetables that grow above (tops) and below (bottoms) the soil. If you are a gardener or a teacher, I highly recommend adding this book to your library, as there are many different ways to apply the story.

In our garden, we chase away any hares that come our way, and thank goodness, there are no bears in central Kansas. Nevertheless, we do have tops and bottoms growing in the depths of the soil, and it is time to harvest some of our bottoms. The potatoes have been growing for 120 days and the leaves are starting to die, two indications that it is time dig up the potatoes. Unearthing the potatoes reveals whether or not we were successful in watering and fertilizing this growing season. Who knew gardening would be so suspenseful?


My three girls and I got a little dirty digging and harvesting, but it sure was fun talking about the bear and the hare’s experience as we gardened together.

If you want to read more about harvesting and storing potatoes, check out last year’s blog…from top to bottom!