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Sweet Potatoes

September 27th, 2013

This week has also found me digging some of my sweet potatoes. There are so many, it will take me a while to get them all out of the ground. Luckily, there is only a little vole damage on them. Next year I must remember to plan castor beans in the garden, they seem to do a fabulous job keeping those pesky critters away.
sweet potato harvest 1
sweet potato harvest 2
The piggies are loving the sweet potato vines, I love that they take something I’d usually compost and turn it into bacon and ham. Not only that, it saves me on their feed bill as well. They will also eat most of the sweet potato tubers that were half eaten by voles!

Do you grow sweet potatoes?

17 Comments to “Sweet Potatoes”
  1. Lemongrass on September 27, 2013 at 5:37 am

    I am now harvesting my sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are some of my favorite foods.
    A few years ago I came up with a delicious sweet potato/bean loaf.

    Reply to Lemongrass's comment

  2. Adelina Anderson on September 27, 2013 at 6:29 am

    We haven’t tried to grow sweet potatoes, but we just cured and smoked our own bacon – regular and maple. Loads of fun!

    Reply to Adelina Anderson's comment

  3. Adriana on September 27, 2013 at 7:30 am

    So nice to learn that pigs will eat just about anything from the garden! We are thinking about getting a couple next spring.
    Our sweet potato harvest wasn’t as good as last year’s, but we still got a lot. This year I did a little side by side comparison with slips I started from last’s years tubers and slips I purchased from Johnny’s. I have to say, the home grown slips produced healthier, more lush plants and bigger tubers. I’ll definitely be starting at least some of my own slips from now on…

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  4. Misti on September 27, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Hey, they look good! We’ll harvest ours in another month since we put them in late. I am just starting to eat some of the leaves. I threw some in a salad last night and will be putting some in my smoothie this morning. I wish I’d known about eating them before this month because I would have done it years before.

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  5. Nebraska Dave on September 27, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Susy, I have not grown sweet potatoes but I’m thinking that I should. I wonder if castor beans would work on ground hogs?

    I ordered my Baker Creek catalog yesterday. It’s the best ever catalog. It’s more like a high quality magazine than a seed catalog.

    Have a great sweet potato harvest.

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  6. whit on September 27, 2013 at 9:51 am

    We just fed some to a river otter yesterday on our behind the scenes tour at a local zoo on our vacation. Never knew it, but the keeper said that zoos and preserves get first dibs on the produce that is shipped in to localities, then it get shipped to the to the stores. So by the time all the zoos and nursing facilities and everyone like that get their veg, then the consumer is buying produce about 3 to 4 weeks old. Another reason to grow your own! What an amazing harvest you have there!

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  7. Sam on September 27, 2013 at 10:09 am

    We haven’t grown sweet potatoes before (mostly because we haven’t had room), but we are hoping to try them next year on our new little homestead! Exciting!

    A question- what do you do with the really skinny sweet potatoes? Maybe they aren’t as small as they look in pictures, but they look like they’d be difficult to peel, etc. Just curious!

    Reply to Sam's comment

  8. Marcia on September 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    I don’t think they grow this high north unless you take great pains warming the soil with black paper and covering them early in spring and late summer it just seems like too much work.

    Reply to Marcia's comment

    • Adriana on September 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Marcia, where do you live? We are in zone 4b and have had great success with sweet potatoes. Just make sure you pick a variety that is on the shorter season side.

      Reply to Adriana's comment

      • Marcia on September 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm

        I live in Calgary, Alberta, zone 3b with micro-climates of 4 in certain areas.

        to Marcia's comment

  9. Susan on September 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I don’t know if you are aware of this or not, but you can eat the sweet potato leaves. They are not to be confused with white potato leaves which are not edible. Other countries use them as we would spinach. I saute them with garlic, olive oil and a little lemon or lime.

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  10. Joy Giles on September 27, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    The leaves of the sweet potato vines are great to eat. Much like spinach.

    Reply to Joy Giles's comment

  11. Trish on September 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    I put in about 25 slips, but will wait until mid october to harvest. The curing is always an issue – they are supposed to be kept at 85 or so degrees for a week. How do I do that this time of year? I have usually just left them in the garden on the ground for a week and they have been fine.

    They aren’t my favorite vegetable, but they are so good for you that I make an effort. I don’t have a sweet tooth,and actually find them too sweet. So I try to put things on them like chili powder. I actually love them covered in barbeque sauce. I dip oven baked sweet potato fries in mustard.

    Reply to Trish's comment

  12. Jen on September 27, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    I grew sweet potatoes this year for the first time. They are ready for harvest, but it’s been raining at least every other day and the soil never has a chance to dry. Guess I better dig them soon or they could rot. I’m in zone 9a and they grew like crazy (are still growing like crazy) with no effort except to trim back the vines when I could no longer walk on the garden path! I will try some of the leaves, never had them before but there are so many, it seems a waste to toss them all in the compost.

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  13. Teresa on September 28, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I haven’t tried them yet, mostly due to lack of space. We hope to expand the garden next year, so maybe then I’ll be able to give them a try. We love sweet potatoes around here!

    Reply to Teresa's comment

  14. Felicakes on September 29, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I plant sweet potatoes but not for the potatoes but for the leaves. They are yummy to eat. :)

    Reply to Felicakes's comment

  15. Barbara Shaw on October 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    This is so interesting about eating the vines, I have never heard this and I have been a farm girl all of my life. I learn so much from your blog. Thanks you.

    Reply to Barbara Shaw's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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