Friday, November 02, 2007

Sweet Potato Harvest Disappointing

This year's sweet potato harvest was a disappointment. The bunch pictured above was the best we got in terms of size and quantity. All totaled, we only dug 39 pounds of potatoes. I was expecting a lot more from this year's crop because we've kept the vines from being eaten and the plants got plenty of water. This isn't the worst production we've ever gotten from a row of sweet potatoes, but I was hoping we'd come a lot closer to our record production of around ninety pounds.

These potatoes weren't easy to dig either. Our procedure is for me to work a spading fork under a bunch of potatoes and pry up while Jo tugs gently on the vines. The bunch of potatoes comes out of the ground and most of the dirt falls off. However, this year's sweet potato bed was on the outside of the garden. Roots from a nearby sweet gum tree had invaded the bed and prevented me from being able to pry up. The competition from those tree feeder roots may also be why our production wasn't up to expectations. I dunno.

Our sweet potato harvest is now curing in the basement. It will be about a month before they're ready to eat because you've got to give them time to convert starches into sugars. The basement isn't the best place for curing sweet potatoes, but it's all we've got. Ideally, curing should take place in a less humid environment.