I am announcing the launch of the Sweet Potato Network. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t believe I’ve heard of such a network before. Let me explain what it is.
The Sweet Potato Network is a Way for Growers to Help One Another.
For years I’ve grown sweet potatoes and networked with Glenn Drowns and Gary Schaum. Glenn and his wife, Linda, own and operate Sandhill Preservation Center, which has a very large, unique collection of sweet potato varieties. Gary owns and operates Duck Creek Farms, which has sold just as many sweet potato varieties as Sandhill Preservation. Gary and Glenn have helped one another, by sharing varieties and helping each other recover varieties when lost, as well as discover new varieties to offer. Any one who has maintained more than a few varieties of sweet potatoes knows that it is all too easy to lose a variety if one isn’t growing it in great quantities. Every now and then, they’d ask me about a variety they’d lost, and every now and then they helped me to recover one I lost.
Here’s how network members can help:
- New growers can ask for information on how to grow, harvest, store and sprout sweet potatoes.
- Anyone can inquire about a variety they seek.
- Participants can share about new varieties discovered.
- Participants can help one another recover lost varieties.
- Members can share tips on slip production, shipping and sales.
- The Network can direct growers to good commercial sources of desired varieties
The Sweet Potato Network should help seed companies.
Such a network should actually help see companies, not harm them. It should increase public awareness of the diversity available and encourage more people to grow sweet potatoes. If more people grow them and seek out varieties, there ought to be more opportunity for any company that deals in sweet potatoes.
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange has steadily increased their sweet potato selection. Bravo!
How does the Sweet Potato Network work?
Just go to the website and start “talking sweet potatoes.” That’s it. There is no cost nor commitment required. Just show up! If you’re looking for something, ask and someone may be able to help out. If you care to share tips about any part of the process of propagating and distributing sweet potato varieties, go right ahead! The Network forum will start out small and simply and expand as needed.
Homesteading Edu has a complete course on Growing Sweet Potatoes.
Under the chapter on “Planting” one can access the lesson on “Starting Slips” for free. It just requires signing up for a free account or signing in with an existing one.
Related article: Why Diversity Matters with Sweet Potatoes