Friday, February 14, 2014

Growing Sweet Potatoes

Growing sweet potatoes in Florida is very simple and rewarding. 

Start with one organically grown sweet potato.  Cut the sweet potato in half and place each half upright in a clay saucer filled halfway with wet soil. This method is superior to using water alone.

 Keep the soil very wet and eventually, you should begin to see leaves and roots forming. It can take several weeks for sufficient roots to form. 

Break or cut off sections that have both roots and leaves. These are then planted outdoors. 

The sweet potato "slips" can be planted in an area of the yard, or in a large pot. I grow them in pots in control their growth as they can spread quite a bit when planted in the ground. 

Adding compost or worm castings to your soil will help in producing large sweet potatoes. 

After six months, check the top of the soil by gently moving some aside with your hands. For our first harvest, we could see the potatoes peeking out of the top of the soil. We only pull out what we will eat that month. After we pull out the sweet potatoes, we brush them off with a dry towel and allow them to sit out on the counter for a few days before eating. 

We leave behind the small sweet potatoes in the pot and harvest them at least 3 months later.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potatoes
3 c. sweet potatoes
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Boil sweet potatoes in water until tender. Allow to cool and then remove skin easily by hand. Mash sweet potatoes. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a 9" square or round baking dish.

1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
1 c. pecans (optional)

Cut sugar into butter. Gradually add in flour and mix with hands. Do not over mix. Mix in the pecans. Sprinkle topping over sweet potato mixture. Cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

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