Archive for October 2nd, 2011

Funny Farm, Funny Tators


Posted by Mikie Baker  |  No Comments »

Way back in April, right before the hottest summer on record, I decided to try my hand at growing sweet potatoes. I’ve never had much luck with potatoes and have pretty well decided they are a hassle to grow. But sweet potatoes? Well, my dear, they’re as easy as sweet potato pie. 

So let’s review the sweet potato process because not  many people around here grow them.

First I ordered “slips” in the mail from a grower in Tennessee. The nice man who runs the dump (my favorite spot in town) told me where to order them as he grows them, too. I did and promptly received a small box in the mail. Real small.

Those are the slips of Georgia Jets and Beauregard’s

They’re about the length of a pencil and skinnier. It amazed me that those tiny, scrawny things would ever amount to this.

That small plant puts out big tubers that you eat

So I took my skinny little plants out to the garden and followed all the directions carefully. One of the interesting things about growing sweet potatoes is that you only fertilize them when you plant them (I use organic Hast-Gro) and then you simply water them all summer. That’s all the attention they need.

Rather quickly, they started growing leaves…

…and before you knew it, they looked like this.

The vines got so big, they’ve taken over the aisles

Well, they say you can harvest sweet potatoes in October, so I ran out there October 1st and decided to dig something up. I dug once at each end of the bed, so I could get one of each of the two varieties. I was very surprised at what I found.

I know what you’re thinking

“So what? Looks like sweet potatoes to me.” Well, let me give you a little perspective.

Granted, the tangerine is a Clementine, but are you getting the idea yet?

These Bad Boys are enormous! And just how big is that? Why don’t we weigh them and see?

This Bad Boy weighs in at just over a pound

Excuse the dirt. Have to let them cure. He’s a Beauregard (red inside). Those are harder to come by as they usually only sell them in the high dollar organic grocery store. That’s why I bought them to grow. So what about the other variety?

The Hulk, as I call him, weighed in at this.

He’s almost 1 3/4 pounds

Now that’s what I call huge! This type is a typical sweet potato that you see in the store. It’s a Georgia Jet. I’m telling you this puppy could feed a family of four for a week. I can hardly wait to invite a few friends over and cook them up!

Gardening and recipes this week. All for now. See you tomorrow!

Spreading laughter throughout the world…one chuckle at a time.

Mikie Baker