October 23, 2016

Lone Hope Sweet Potato

Before we could turn the goats into the garden, we had to harvest our sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes usually do well for us, but less than half the slips I planted survived our hot, dry summer. Then the ground was so dry and hard that it was difficult to dig them out; it was more like chiseling than digging.  All I got was this.


1.75 pounds, that's it.

It may be a bit early to do this, but I picked the best one to put in water in hopes of growing some slips. If they make, maybe I can pot them once they have roots and leaves.


If I've said it once, I've said it a dozen times - something is better than nothing. At least I have something in hopes of next year's sweet potatoes.

Lone Hope Sweet Potato © October 2016 by

38 comments:

Judy said...

That's a scary small harvest. I can't grow regular potatoes to save me, but I'm really good with sweet potatoes. What variety do you grow? I've grown Jewel, Beauregard and Centennial. They say Centennial does the best in clay soil but I've never had any trouble any of the three. Of course, this was in Kansas, zone 6a.

Dawn McHugh said...

We had a small harvest, lots of vines compared to the harvest, I might just try a few of ours in water to get slips, slips are so expensive to buy here

Dani said...

My sweet potatoes were hit by frost this year. A few are making a comeback, but the majority were lost.

Leigh said...

Judy, you sound like me. I've about given up on regular potatoes, because our harvest is rarely more than I plant!

I've been growing Vardaman sweet potatoes. We tried a lot of varieties, but I like these because they are tasty and keep well, plus they grow as more of a bush than ongoing vines.

Last year I read that they make good companions to okra, so I planted my sweets with that. But I think they didn't do well because the okra shaded them out too much. This year it was because of the heat and drought. :(

Leigh said...

Slips are expensive here too, especially if they have to be mail ordered. I do find growing my own slips to be the better way to go!

One thing I've discovered about sweet potato vines, is that they seem to boost goats' milk production!

Leigh said...

Dani that's hugely disappointing, but I know it's a relief to get a comeback!

Mike Yukon said...

I remember back when I was 10-12 years old (60 years ago) we had a large garden maybe 50 x 50 feet. My Mom could grow anything and with large yields (several hundred canning jars) and the size of the potatoes, carrots, beets, corn, onions etc were by today’s comparison huge in size.

Today, my garden experiments are nowhere near what she could do seemingly without trying. My tomatoes are smaller and almost always just about the time for harvesting they split. I’m thinking of suspending a shade cloth over the plants to reduce the harsh sun rays when the fruits begin to grow, we’ll see if it works. Maybe this could work for your sweet potatoes?

Another thing that bothers me are GMO seeds. Have these seed companies so altered the plants DNA that they will only produce if you use a extremely strict diet of fertilizers compatible with the seeds new programmed DNA?

Just a stomach churning thought,
Mike

Thistle Cove Farm said...

You are so right...some is better than none and those sweet potatoes will be all the tastier for your efforts.

Ed said...

Such is the life of a gardener. That is why I'm big on preserving during those bumper years. However with sweet potatoes, I'm not sure there is a preservation technique other than to cook them in something and freeze that.

Quinn said...

It's hard not to wish for more at times, but like you, I feel such gratitude for every little thing my gardens give me.

Leigh said...

Mike, I have to admit that Dan and I have entertained similar thoughts about the challenges of gardening these days. They range anywhere from the earth is running down (dying) to the irresponsibility of the kind of experimenting industrial scientists are doing, to deliberate attempts to eliminate competition and force folks to be dependent on the consumer system. Some folks might say that's crazy talk, but when I read blog after blog of folks who are having a hard time getting a good garden and a good harvest, the mind tends to run wild!

Leigh said...

I just have to be thankful for what I get!

Leigh said...

I agree about preserving everything even if it seems like too much. In the long run it never is!

I've canned sweet potato chunks. They aren't as good as fresh, but they make good pies, cakes, and breads, so that's always welcome.

Leigh said...

I find complaining comes a whole lot easier than gratitude. But it's something I value so I keep on working at it. It truly casts a better light on everything.

Kathleen RosePrairieQuilts said...

I have had years of bad havests, not sure about the SP this year, I still need to dig them up. But won't know till I do. Good luck on next year.

Mama Pea said...

Of course, we can't grow sweet potatoes in our climate (darn), but I think our regular potato harvest is going to be really good this year. Tuesday is our target date for digging them. Rain again today, but possibly sunny tomorrow and, with luck, less mud to deal with on Tuesday.

This year's failure for us (and others in the area I'm hearing, too) was cauliflower. Some years certain crops just don't do well . . . like your sweet potatoes.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

So sorry for your loss, we on the other hand are flooded with sweet potatoes which grew to football size! We lost some to mice but there are literally over a hundred pounds of these monsters. Tomorrow I will start canning them. So wish you lived closer I'd be swapping you these sweet potatoes for something good I'm sure.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

I too run on the "crazy talk" side. Recently terrible eggs were on sale at our local grocery for 49 cents a dozen and people were just scooping them up. oblivious to how the chickens were raised. It makes it so hard for decent homesteaders to sell their HEALTHY eggs at Farmers markets. But as my husband always says, when a government controls most of the food...they control the people.

Rain said...

Hi Leigh, oh, that's a small harvest, but like you said something is better than nothing...reminds me of the NINE strawberries I harvested this summer...ooh they were delicious :)

Leigh said...

I know a lot of folks pooh-pooh so called "conspiracy theory." Regardless of that, it is human nature to want to be in charge, to be important, to in control others, to corner the market. We all see it at all levels, from the school yard bully on up. Trouble is, bullies never play fair and the bigger they get, the worse they seem to be.

Leigh said...

I hope you get a good harvest! The bad ones can be discouraging, and I've gradually learned what has the best chances of growing well here. That's mostly what I focus on now, although that has it's ups and downs as well.

Leigh said...

It's true, Mama Pea, there is no consistent harvest for anything, year after year. I see why this could drive some folks crazy. We've just learned to be adaptable!

Leigh said...

Oh my goodness, that's fantastic! But Illinois certainly does have better soil than we do.

Our best producers this year were our fruit and nuts. So I reckon instead of good veggie dishes this winter, we'll have to eat a lot of dessert!

Leigh said...

Rain, sometimes it's just like that! At least you enjoyed them well. :)

Susan Humeston said...

What about the non-GMO seeds that are supposed to be stored in vaults and that you can purchase from some companies? Heirloom seeds, I think they are called - are those a hoax?

Leigh said...

No, I don't for a moment think they are a hoax. I don't think any of it is a hoax. There are open pollinated varieties (often called heirloom) which reproduce true to the parent plants. There are hybrid seeds that are simple crosses and which won't reproduce true to the parent source, and there are GMO seeds, which are patented and therefore not legal to save from parent plants.

But of course, seeds are only part of the equation to a successful harvest.

Tricky Wolf said...

nice to see you reframing a negative, something is most certainly better than nothing, hope you have a bigger better harvest next year :)

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Sorry your sweet potato harvest was not larger. Hope the one in water grows slips for you. When things like that happen I sometimes say"better than a sharp poke in the eye" Nancy

Goatldi said...

Dessert? Be sure to eat it first!

Goatldi said...

We have a lovely harvest of Yukon Golds. Geoffrey won't eat sweet potatoes but I love them. If I could figure a way to get you some without selling the farm for shipping fees I would send some your way. Not sweet but a really good crop and tasty too!

Judy said...

Leigh, Ed,
I dehydrated mashed sweet potatoes. I boiled the sweet potato, peeled, then mashed and put in the dehydrator as a leather. I pulverized the brittle leather in the food processor. I used the flakes in place of pumpkin and in soups as a thickener.
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOlIQ9OQMjs

Leigh said...

Judy, what a great idea! Thanks!

Leigh said...

Ha ha! Considering my sweet tooth, I could make dessert a main course every day. :)

Leigh said...

Tricky, I think that's the key to sanity in this lifestyle. One of the lessons to be learned is how little we have actual control of. Being adaptable is a mental lifesaver.

Leigh said...

LOL, so true Nancy! Some years it's just like that.

Leigh said...

Shipping these days knocks a lot of things out of the box. But I appreciate the thought! As most of us know, there's always next year!

Farmer Barb said...

Yes, Ma'am.

M.K. said...

Something is certainly better than nothing. That's a handsome sweet potato -- better luck next year. I want to grow some next year too.