Aztext Press

Life Off-the-Grid

Sweet Potato Adventures

We grew sweet potatoes this year for the first time. Cam read an article that outlined the health benefits of sweet potatoes. Essentially the article claimed that if you gave the most nutritious vegetable a score of 100, sweet potatoes would earn a 180! They are that good for you! * (see below for clarification of this comment….)

So we bought a book called “Sweet Potatoes for the Home Garden” written by Ken Allan, who lives not too far from here. Then we bought four “slips” from Burt’s  Greenhouse in Wilton (Ontario).

We planted the four plants in our barn foundation in a raised bed. We covered the soil with clear plastic and then cut holes into the plastic for the four sweet potato plants.

As you can see from this photo, the plants flourished in the warm, protected environment of the old barn foundation. The plants were quite lovely with pretty purpley flowers!

imagesThe four plants ended up covering quite a large area and since our temperatures are quickly plummeting (we had a killing frost the last two nights) we decided it was time to harvest them.

sweet-potato-vines

Cam pulled back the beautiful vines (they were beginning to show signs of damage due to frost)  and pulled back the plastic. He dug around and found four groups of sweet potatoes.

potatoes

Some of them are rather quite bizarre looking, but luckily a few of them actually resemble the sweet potatoes you find in the grocery store!

cropWhen all was said and done, we ended up harvesting about 25 pounds of sweet potatoes… all from just four plants!

Now we need to find new recipes to use up these nutritious gems. I’m suggesting a deep-fat fryer so that we can make sweet potato fries, but I’m not getting much support for that idea! Perhaps frying them would negate too many of the nutritious benefits of these super spuds!

In my next blog I’ll be sharing our experience growing peanuts for the first time!

* I think I discovered what Cam had read about the nutritional value of sweet potatoes.

“In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fiber content, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium, the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value. According to these criteria, sweet potatoes earned 184 points, 100 points over the next on the list, the common potato.(NCSPC)”

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