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Sweet Potatoes

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  johnp on 10/1/2015, 7:51 am

Yesterday was tomato day, made tomato juice to freeze and made tomato soup for last night's dinner. Today will make cilantro, lime salsa with tomatoes and that will reduce the pile to manageable. Still have kale and chard to deal with in the next few days. Big anticipation appearing in the greenhouse. Ground (MM) is heaving at the base of all (6) sweet potatoes. Going to dig one up this weekend, can't wait.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  yolos on 10/1/2015, 9:17 am

@johnp wrote:Yesterday was tomato day, made tomato juice to freeze and made tomato soup for last night's dinner. Today will make cilantro, lime salsa with tomatoes and that will reduce the pile to manageable. Still have kale and chard to deal with in the next few days. Big anticipation appearing in the greenhouse. Ground (MM) is heaving at the base of all (6) sweet potatoes. Going to dig one up this weekend, can't wait.

Don't forget after you harvest the sweet potato it has to cure before you eat it for the best flavor.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  johnp on 10/1/2015, 5:20 pm

Yolos, I did not know about curing sweet potatoes, first year growing. Help me out.
john

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  yolos on 10/1/2015, 6:07 pm

@johnp wrote:Yolos, I did not know about curing sweet potatoes, first year growing. Help me out.
john
The following info is from this website.  http://www.vickfamilyfarms.com/about-our-operation/why-do-we-cure-sweet-potatoes
There are many more websites on the internet - google  "curing sweet Potatoes".  The curing time varies somewhat depending on what website you lookup. 


Curing and Storing Sweet Potatoes
 
Sweet potatoes are not very sweet or moist when first dug. It takes six to eight weeks of proper curing and storage before they have the sweet, moist taste and texture desired when baked.
Although freshly harvested roots won’t directly bake into a great product, they can be candied or used in sweetened pies or casseroles.
After the roots are dug, they should be cured to heal the cuts and trigger development of the sugar-creating enzymes. Sweet potatoes are cured by storing in a warm, humid room for five to ten days. A temperature of 80°F to 85°F and a relative humidity of 80 percent to 90 percent are ideal. These exact conditions will be hard to establish around the home, so select a room or building that comes close to these conditions.
After curing, store roots at 55°F to 60°F for six to eight weeks. This storage further develops the sugars and maltose sugar-creating enzyme. This enzyme will really kick in while baking at 350°F to 375°F to develop the sweet, syrupy sugars. Stored cured roots may last several months or more. The length of time sweet potatoes can be held in storage without sacrificing quality will depend on the environment in which they are stored in. The conditions above are “ideal,” but sweet potatoes are held under a variety of environmental conditions, and quality and longevity in storage will vary accordingly.
Storage temperatures are very important. Long-term storage areas should be maintained at 55° to 60° with 85% relative humidity and with sufficient venting to produce a total volume change of air at least once a day. Above 60°, internal breakdown, shrinking, and sprouting can occur. Temperatures below 55° may cause hardcore, a disorder where a whitish, hard area appears in the cooked sweet potato. Properly cured and stored sweet potatoes can be held up to 12 months with little reduction in quality. Shrinkage occurs at 1 to 2% per month if cured, 2 to 5% if uncured. In some cultivars, pithiness also increases with length of storage.
At Vick Family Farms our storage and curing facilities are state of the art and allow us to bring to market the finest quality sweet potato available.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  Scorpio Rising on 10/1/2015, 7:14 pm

Jeez, are they worth it? Krogers has organic sweet potatoes!

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  sanderson on 10/2/2015, 12:31 am

After reading the above post, I realize that I don't have a good curing or a good storage area for my sweet potatoes. Sad The leaves are still green and healthy but the roots are starting to thicken. At least it's a fun experiment in the free storage tubs I received.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  johnp on 10/2/2015, 7:50 am

Wow, why did I grow them? I can do the first part but the 6 to 8 weeks, won.t even be here. I can put them in our room attached to the house which we set at 5o degrees and hope they are still good when we get back.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  yolos on 10/2/2015, 8:54 am

Sorry you guys, you don't have to go to all that trouble.  Just do the best you can.  The above folks sell sweet potatoes and they have all types of equipment and storage under the ideal conditions.  I just let mine sit on the back screened-in porch for a couple weeks and then put them in my pantry.  They are talking about curing them ideally for the most sugar content for baked sweet potatoes.  So if your curing does not make them as sweet as you like them, I guess you could use a little brown sugar sprinkled on.  Either way, they are delicious fully cured or not.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  Scorpio Rising on 10/2/2015, 9:27 pm

Yay! I would give them a try, I love sweet potatoes, but am not equipped to do that level of curing. Thanks, yolos, for the reality check!

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  sanderson on 10/3/2015, 2:26 am

Reality checks can be valuable for prioritizing our gardens. The sweet potatoes would be a bonus for me.

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Sweet Potatoes

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 10/3/2015, 12:16 pm

I didn't know about the curing process last year when we harvested ours and other than not being quite as sweet, they were quite good and lasted a long time.  So with those caveats I wouldn't necessarily shy away from them.  

I planted quite a bit of them this year in some new areas.  I'll pull them up right at first frost so they can continue to grow.  The first bed I pulled were rather small, but were shaded all afternoon so that might have impacted their growth.  We'll see on the rest.

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Sweet Potatoes

Post  johnp on 10/4/2015, 11:28 am

After learning about the curing process from Yolos on sweet potatoes, this morning I was picking tomatoes and just could not resist it any longer. I dug up one sweet potato. The results are below for one potato. Question. After letting them cure for a while can we cook and eat the smaller ones ?

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  littlejo on 10/4/2015, 4:31 pm

I never cure mine, but the weather here does not usually get freezing til Jan.  I just put in a 5 gal. bucket on the back porch. If I think they could be sweeter, I bring buckets in the house for a while, then back on the porch.  It is so good to decide"I feel like sw. potatoes" and just go out and get a couple off the porch!

Don't know if I will get any this yr. because an armadillo dug up the bed. I smoothed out the bed, and the vines are green again, thanks to lots of rain. Will have to wait and see.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  sanderson on 10/4/2015, 6:50 pm

Darn that armadillo. I hope you still get some.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  Cajun Cappy on 10/5/2015, 4:13 pm

My friend Smokin' Sam that yall see me occasionally mention has a rather large regular style garden.  We are both members of a group of small town country boys that trade stuff.  Sam grew 2 rows of sweet taters this year and since digging them is hard on his knees, I went over the other day and dug them for him.  He had 2 rows and we got 6 - 50 lb or so sacks out of it.  He gave me 2 sacks for the help.  I took them home and hung them in the shed where it stays around 70 or so in the shade.  They will hang in the sacks all winter cause it rarely freezes down here and when it does the shed has a space heater and heating pad for the kitties so it is kinda like a root cellar.  We usta say wait no less than 2 weeks before eating them and the longer ya wait the sweeter they get.  This will last me and Peg all winter into the spring unless we go over board with holiday baking.  Even the tiny ones are great when cleaned and baked hole we do that and eat them whole skin and all, they are a tasty treat.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  johnp on 10/5/2015, 5:38 pm

Thanks Cappy for the info on the sweet potatoes. I thought you could eat the small ones just like the bigger ones.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  sanderson on 10/6/2015, 1:16 am

Do most people NOT eat the skins, even the little ones? I always eat the skins. thinking

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  littlejo on 10/6/2015, 8:59 am

We eat the skins, just cut off the bad spots before cooking

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Second sweet potato

Post  johnp on 10/18/2015, 11:04 am

Couldn't wait any longer. I dug up the second sweet potato this morning. Was walking in the back door with my prize when the DW said no, don't bring that  dirty thing inside, I'm cleaning. She did get the camera and took a picture. Over 5 lbs. Taking them to the outside room to sit for a couple of weeks. Can't wait to try one. 

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  yolos on 10/18/2015, 11:25 am

Good harvest from one sweet potato I think.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/18/2015, 2:22 pm

They look good. Love those things!

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  sanderson on 10/18/2015, 2:44 pm


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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  Scorpio Rising on 10/18/2015, 3:01 pm

Nice haul, John! And I eat the skins for sure, of all taters.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  johnp on 10/19/2015, 8:34 am

We tried one of the ones I picked two weeks ago last night. It was great, even my wife liked it and she is not a big fan. This might be just a coincidence but the size difference between the one I picked two weeks ago and the one I picked Sunday was almost twice the poundage. I can't believe that two weeks could have made that big a difference. Even so, five pounds of sweet potatoes, if the other four are the same is a lot of potatoes for six plants.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

Post  AtlantaMarie on 10/22/2015, 8:00 am

John, how did you cure them?  

I've read 90% humidity, warmth, etc. is necessary. Just can't do that here.

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Re: Sweet Potatoes

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