Monday, November 14, 2016

Sweet Potato Harvest

I consider this year's sweet potato harvest to be a success.  What are my criteria for success?
Producing enough food for my family for one year with the minimum amount of work and cost.
  • First, no expense for the plants.  I took last year's few remaining old sweet potatoes that had been stored all through the winter, rooted them and planted the little slips in my garden.  
  • Second, minimum labor during the summer.  I let the vines grow wild out into the yard and didn't bother weeding.  After they get thick, they crowd out grass and weeds.
  • Third, when it came time to dig them up, I strong-armed the boys and made them do the dirty work. Hey, don't criticize me!  They are big and strong, I am old and weak. Why not take advantage?
  • Fourth, this will be more than enough to last us for one year.  In bumper crop years, I have canned some.
After we dig them, I let them dry out in the sun for a few weeks.  I then sort through them and put the large ones that are not broken or bruised into a cardboard box with newspaper.  They will be stored at room temperature all winter long.  Periodically I check to see if there are soft spots; as soon as one starts to wither, it is cooked for supper.

These were culled because they were either too small or were damaged by the pitchfork during harvest. None will go to waste. There are quite a few that are really small, about the size of a carrot.  It would be impossible to bake and peel them so I boil all of them.  They would dry up quickly in storage.

Trying to get the bruised spots off would be quite a bit of work.  It is easier to remove them after they are all boiled and soft. 

After they are rinsed and cooled, it is easy to remove the skins.  Just pinch the potato and they will slide off.

They look fine but because they are so small many will have small fibers like little hairs which I don't like.

If you look close you can see the little fibers so I mix them with a hand-blender until they are fluffy.

Next, I add butter and brown sugar and mix them up again.  They really don't need much sugar since they are so fresh and naturally sweet.

The last step is to put them into a casserole dish and freeze for Thanksgiving.  After they are steaming hot I will add marshmallows to the top at the last minute.  


  1. I was thinking of taking some sweet potatoes that I had to blend up to make into "pumpkin" bread but I wasn't sure how to cook them. Seems really easy to cook in water in the skins. I might just have to try it!! How long do you normally cook for?? Until you can stick a fork in?? Can't wait to try!!

  2. Alison, cooking time depends upon how thick and the age of the potato. If it has been in storage for a long time it will be dryer and take longer. I poke the biggest potato with a fork and if it is ready, I assume they are all ready. Boiling also makes them more moist.

  3. I am boiling my sweet potatoes right this minute for thanksgiving supper. I had not known until this year to boil them with the skins on and then peel. Works great. I also canned some for the first time this year.. I bought mine at the Amish market in the next county. Ours didn't produce in the garden this year. Bad gardening year here.....Vicky in Ky.