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Sweet Success

October 25th, 2012

Last year, my mom and I didn’t grow sweet potatoes. Since we had lost our entire crop to the voles in 2010, we decided to take the year off. This spring we optimistically planted a large row in the garden hoping for the best.

It was a hot summer, just what the sweet potatoes ordered. All summer we kept wondering what we’d find when we harvested our patch.

Low and behold, it was a banner year; our sweet potatoes produced like mad. Most of them were nice sized roots, with the occasional mammoth one. We also ended up with a small bucket of the tiny ones, which will become dog food.

We won’t be eating these beauties right away, they need cured for their sweetness to come out. Sweet potatoes like to be cured in warm temperatures (around 85) for about 2 weeks. We decided to try curing the sweet potatoes in my mom’s greenhouse where it’s warm and toasty and around 85 on most sunny days. Half of them may be covered with a towel to see if this helps raise the humidity a little since they appreciate a high humidity during curing. It should be interesting to roast them for Thanksgiving next month and compare.

That’s part of growing root vegetables, you never really know what you’re going to find at harvest time. Most of the time you will find a great harvest but every now and then it’s a big disappointment. This year we’re enjoying our sweet success!

Have you ever had a disappointing root vegetable harvest?

What To Do With a Turnip?

January 25th, 2012

I found these lovely turnips at Local Roots in Wooster, OH last week and snatched them up. I’ve never grown them and have only had them in my kitchen once before. As I strive to learn more about winter gardening and growing vegetables that don’t require canning or preparation for storage, I find myself turning to root vegetables like the turnip. Purchasing from local farmers before growing them yourself is a great way to test them out to make sure you like them; you also know if they grow well in your area if the farmers are selling them. Although I’m thinking even if I don’t love them, they’ll be growing in my garden in the future because they’re such a versatile and useful winter vegetable!

According to what I’ve read in my on-line searches, There are many different way to prepare turnips, but I’m not sure which methods I should try. I figured the best place to ask for advice is here. These three large turnips should give me enough to try three different recipes. What do you recommend?

So what is the best way to eat a turnip? Have you ever grown turnips in your garden?

Reading & Watching

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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.