Sweet potato harvest!

Today was the perfect day to harvest our sweet potatoes.  

 

The ground was still moist enough that it was easy to work with the pitchfork, but not entirely drenched like it will be tomorrow after the rains we’re supposed to get tonight.

 

Roy and the boys went off to build another run-in shed for the sheep while the girls and I got to work in the dirt.

 

We had over 100 slips planted back in May, and have had our most successful sweet potato year ever!  

 

The potatoes for the most part are nice and smooth and of a reasonable size and very few had been discovered by rabbits and voles.  Those seem to be our worst enemy when it comes to sweet potatoes.  They will find the biggest potatoes that are close to the surface and nibble right into them!

 

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Harvesting sweets is much like harvesting the Kennebecs.

 

Find the plant stem — that’s a bit harder than white potatoes because of the huge vines!

 

Dig under with the pitchfork — search to either side to look for stragglers.

 

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Sometimes you can pull up the whole plant with a bunch of tubers all hanging onto it.

 

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Sometimes the tubers are huge and the plant breaks off.

 

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These four huge tubers are all from the same plant!

 

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Two hours and 200lbs of potatoes later, we have cleared another part of our garden!

 

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Here’s part of the harvest, along with some watermelon and cantaloupe and even a sweet potato blossom (after all, I did have girls helping me, so they had to pretty things up!)

 

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We put the potatoes out on the porch for the outer surface to dry off — also, they need to be cured a few days at high humidity and temperature — we’ve certainly got the humidity!  We’ll finish off that process as we always have…in our bathtub!  We figured our master bathroom is humid at least a couple of times a day when we shower – and we never have time to use the bathtub anyway, so it’s become our sweet potato curing facility every year!

Part of our harvest is being donated to Wheeler Library’s Farm to Table Gala calld “A Local Affair” on October 27, which will feature locally grown foods and wine!  How cool is that?!

 

 

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