As the leaves on the sweet potato vines began to change color, we realized it was time to pull up those tasty spuds! There’s always a fine line between getting a maximum harvest without losing some of that harvest to critters who like to try to snack on them before we dig them up! I think we got it just right this year!
Today was an optimal day for harvesting – cool and overcast. We got to work with 2 boys cutting vines and piling them up – you’ll see what that pile was for later – and 2 of us digging while a couple more kids did the final unearthing and harvesting.
You never get tired of digging potatoes. It’s like an archaeological site sometimes! You just don’t know what you’re going to find as you brush the dirt away! How big will it be? How long? What amazing shape will you find? And you have to be careful with those pitchforks, because like an archaeological find, these babies are precious and we don’t want to break or pierce them!
Here’s the yield from just one plant! I think we had about 175 plants take this year of the 200 or so slips we planted – a record take rate…
Which yielded a record harvest! Midway through the weighing process the scale got bumped by the boot of a child who shall remain nameless, so we had to guess the total weight based on each bucketful being 20 to 25 pounds. This year we calculate a harvest of well over 500 pounds of Beauregard sweet potatoes!
They must be cured for 4 to 6 weeks to maximize the sweetness. It’s best that they be in a somewhat warm, humid environment which is hard to find this time of year. The best we could do was put them in our Jacuzzi! Normally we half fill it with our sweets- this year we would have overflowed it! Full, with 2 bags remaining!
Oh yeah — and what was that mound of harvest vines to become?
A place for a few exhausted children to collapse upon at day’s end!