The Pain and Pleasure of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato
Sweet Potatoes are Delicious, Nutritious, and Productive.

Sweet potatoes are one of our family favorites. We eat a LOT of them. They are delicious and nutritious. We never tire of them. They keep extremely well without special storage requirements and … we can produce lots of them ourselves! They thrive in warm/hot temperatures, though, I’ve heard of them being successfully produced well into the North of New England.

There is more diversity in regard to sweet potato flavor, color, and texture than most people can imagine.

They can have red, orange, white, yellow, or purple flesh. The same is true of skin color. “Sweets” can be super moist or really dry, really sweet, or hardly sweet at all. Until one grows and tries some of these variations, it is hard to know what they’ll like the most. I’ve gotten to the point that I almost have to grow a number of varieties because I’d miss them if I was limited to only one or two.

Sweet potatoes tend to be a lot of work, and almost no work, depending on the season.

They’re lots of work at planting time, as hilling takes a lot of muscle (unless you do it with a tractor). They’re a lot of work at harvest, as digging is hard work. Still, I hardly notice the work at harvest time, as it is so fun to unearth bushels of wonderful roots for our fall and winter use.

After planting and before harvest sweet potatoes are almost no work.

planting sweet potatoes
One plants sweet potato “slips” or cuttings.

A typical sweet potato plant will produce 3-4 lb. or roots in a season. I’ve had some top 12 lb.! What’s more, it’s easy to keep a root or two and start your own slips for each coming year. Try growing sweet potatoes. They’re great!

Here’s a link to resources for obtaining slips: Resources for obtaining sweet potato slips

Homesteading Edu has an entire course dedicated to sweet potatoes. Check it out here



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