Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Announcing - Carroll County Grow It Eat It - Sweetpotato Festival - September 24, 2011 from 2 to 4PM


Pictured is Master Gardener Intern Henry Lysy inspecting this years amazing sweetpotato patch.
Where: Public Demonstration Garden directly behind the Carroll County Agriculture Center and Shipley Arena.
Event Details: Our Carroll County "Grow It Eat It Team" is planning their First Annual Sweetpotato Festival.
Please come out to visit and learn while enjoying this very special and delicious event. Be sure to meet our very own Mr. Sweetpotato while your there!
Did You Know?
  • Sweetpotatoes are part of the morning glory family.
  • Sweetpotatoes are nutritious! Since sweet potatoes are such a good source of fiber, they're a good food for people with diabetes. The fiber helps lower blood sugar by slowing the rate at which food is converted into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. Also, because they are such complex carbohydrates, sweet potatoes can help control weight
  • The orange-flesh sweetpotato contains a two day supply of Vitamin A, 40%+ of Vitamin C, nearly 10% of iron needs.
  • Sweetpotatoes are one of the only low-fat sources of Vitamin E, and they have more dietary fiber than oatmeal.
  • Sweetpotatoes rank as the 5th most important crop for developing countries.
  • World annual production: 133 million tons.
  • China grows 85% of the world production.
  • USA produces about 1% of the world crop
  • North Carolina is the leading US producer.
  • Sweetpotatoes may fight cancer. The “A.C.E.” vitamins are known as the anti-oxidant set and play a role in cancer prevention.
  • Dietary fiber is another important sweetpotato - anti-cancer link.
  • Additional phytochemicals found in sweetpotatoes (in purple sweetpotato varieties) may also be an anti-cancer advantage.
  • Immediately following harvest, sweetpotatoes need to be “cured.”
  • Curing protects the root during storage.
  • Sweetpotatoes need to be cured at 85 degrees, 85% humidity for 5 to 7 days.
  • Once cured, store sweetpotato roots at about 60 degrees. Do not store below 55 degrees. This will produce a “chill injury factor,” resulting in a hard core &/or rapid spoilage.
Sweetpotato Infomation taken from:
Jack and Bev Osman website: josman@zoominternet.net

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for this information. I grew sweet potatoes for the first time last year. I was overwhelmed with foliage but very disappointed with actual sweet potato production. Then, to add insult to injury, I didn't know about the curing process. I cooked the few small sweet potatoes right after harvesting and they had no flavor and poor texture. I didn't even bother to plant them this year.

    Next time I'll know about curing, but how to I get more sweet potatoes to form?

    P.S. Do you have any recipes for sweet potato foliage?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have only ever used the leaves raw in salad, but a Google search for "sweetpotato foliage recipes" turned up the following, among others:

    Stir-fried sweet potato leaves

    Ingredients
    One bunch of sweet potato leaves (volume of the untrimmed bunch was 6-10 Qt.)
    1-2 hot dried red chilies
    1-2 cloves of garlic
    Salt, soy sauce, pepper to taste

    Method
    1.Fill a pot with water and put it on the stove over high heat. The pot should be large enough to hold the leaves, and there should be enough water to cover the leaves.

    2.Strip the leaves from the branches. The thin stems that attach the leaves to the branch are tender enough to eat, so there is no need to remove only the leaves. Wash and drain the leaves.

    3.Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic.

    4.Chop the chilies fine, and combine with the garlic.

    5.When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and carefully add the sweet potato leaves. After 2 minutes, remove and rinse with cold water. Chop the leaves. (This step was recommended by the cookbook to remove traces of natural slime from the leaves.)

    6.In a large skillet or wok, heat some vegetable oil over high heat. When it is hot, add the garlic and chilies. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring often.

    7.Add the greens, then stir-fry the mixture until the greens are tender, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add salt, pepper, soy sauce, or other flavorings to taste.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Space plants 12-15in. apart. Don't fertilize if the soil quality is good and high in organic matter. Over-fertilization encourages top growth at the expense of root growth.

    Yes, curing (conversion of starch to sugar)is essential. It can happen slowly in your basement from Sept. through mid-Nov. Or you can actively cure them by placing a single layer of harvested, un-washed roots in a ventilated box or bin in your garage or porch. Cover with a sheet of clear plastic with holes cut out for ventilation. This will increase humidity and is essential for good curing. The air temp. should be around 85 degrees F.

    Recipes- I wash leaves and sautee with chopped garlic in olive oil. The mouth feel is very similar to spinach.

    ReplyDelete

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