Sweet Potatoes

Wow!  What a Fall–no relocation of Pick Up and Great WEATHER every Thursday!  Thank you to EVERYONE for coming to The Farm on Thursday to Pick Up.

Want to take this opportunity to share information on your Sweet Potatoes:

Sweet Potatoes passed out on Thursday are Centenniel, a lighter-meated and more elongated sweet potato–Plenty sweet and very yummy!  The potatoes have been cured, which means the skin is set and they are not as easily scarred, and they have had time to convert to a sweeter potato.

Do not store them in a plastic bag, but in a cool place out of sunlight and heat.  Eat them soon and do not try to store them for longer than a week.  Where there are dark spots spoilage can set in.  We mechanically harvest them and so some ends are cut.  The curing process has scabbed over most cuts, and we have tried to pull those that are soft and spoiled out.

Conventional Sweet Potatoes are planted into ground sprayed with a strong chemical to kill nematodes, and then weekly for control and to keep other diseases in-check.  Ours are raised organically, so are subjected to some disease and pest damage, primarily cosmetic.  We like to think that we are exchanging beauty and perfection for a higher nutritional value.  It is worth noting that Certified Organic Sweet Potatoes are not spray free but the large growers most likely use a biological, botanical, or diluted spray which has been approved by OMRI for Organic Certification.

This year we grew 4 varieties:  Beauregard (most popular variety in the stores and that which we’ve raised for the past three years), Georgia Jets (slightly lighter color than Beauregard and a faster grower), Centenniel and Vardeman from Mississippi (elongated shape and lighter color and longer day).  The Vardeman split in all sorts of funny ways when we dug them!

The Georgia Jets grew, then split, then healed over, and grew some more.  Some of them are HUGE with all kinds of crevices and cracks.  They also seem to have more nematode damage and scars.  I steamed one the other day, a huge gnarly thing–When you steam them they cook completely and no matter how many odd splits or ghastly scars you have they peel right off and expose beautiful, smooth, sweet potato flesh.

To steam:  cut into chunks 2 inches tall, put into a steaming colander, and steam till soft and the skins pull off.  Serve skinless chunks on each plate with lots of butter.  You can add a little nutmeg or cinnamon.

To bake in the oven:  cut into chunks trying to keep them about the same size so they cook at the same time, and place in a covered dish or one covered with foil.  Cook an hour or more, and then serve skinless with butter. (350 degrees)

Left over Sweet Potatoes can be stored in the fridge in a covered dish, container, or ziplock bag.  They can be reheated and mashed, or used to make a soup similar to the Butternut Bisque.  Those that are smoother skinned and more uniform in size can be cubed and fried with herbs in olive oil–garlic or onions are an option.  You can cut sweet potatoes into long strips and deep fat fry them for sweet potato fries, or cook on a cookie sheet with oil at a high temperature.

Nutritional value of Sweet Potatoes are high!  Beta-carotene the darker the color is, and an over-the-top source of Vitamin A–both in the sweet potato and by enhancing the body’s ability to manufacture Vitamin A.  See Nutritional Information at http://www.lloydcraftfarms.com for more information.  Very INTERESTING!

The Farmer’s Wife

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