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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sweet Potato Storage

not in a tree like the squirrel stored this one
I leave my sweet potatoes in the box in which they came or put them in paper bags. Sweet potatoes need to be in a cool (between 55 and 60 degrees), humid, dark place. I place a piece of some kind of cloth over the boxes because there are holes in the box that let in light. The paper bags are only half full with the top rolled down to exclude light.
Since I keep sweet potatoes for nine months, at least, I go through them every two or three months, examining each and putting them back into a bag or box. If they look like they are going bad, I bake them after cutting off whatever blemish I find.
Exbf has done the sorting and discarding every few months for me every year. Every year at the end of sweet potatoes, I ask him how I did on cost and waste. He remarked that I could have lost one-quarter of what I bought and still come out ahead. Since he goes with me to buy sweet potatoes some of the time and eats lots of them, he is interested.
Now, he keeps up with price of sweet potatoes in the store, on signs, and in ads. So, he is aware of what sweet potatoes cost and can competently comment on whether I spend my money wisely. I think I buy, store, and eat them without much waste, but he concurs.
The following pictures were taken as I stood inside the huge building where the sweet potatoes are sorted, washed, dried, and cured. I don't know what each machine does, so there won't be much commentary or explanation.
On the farm 

Jose putting a 40 lb box on the dolly

See the huge wooden bins with sweet potatoes?
In the front and to right and left are more
40 lb. boxes.



for washing turnip greens

another washing tub

The tubs are right outside the building on the way to the car. Once, there were turnip greens all over the concrete and pieces floating in the tub. I think this is just a supplemental crop...not sure. I am going to call back and see about them next week.
Those are my 80 lbs. of sweet potatoes ready to go into trunk when exbf gets the cooler out. In the background is another part of the processing. Behind that is a house.
So, there is my trip to the sweet potato farm, a highlight of my year.
The next sweet potato post will be about varieties and cooking.

Oops, I forgot to include this link about how to store sweet potatoes. The article talks about curing sweet potatoes. The grower must cure sweet potatoes in order for them to taste sweet.
Your turn
I know I love these little trips, but do you enjoy them or even hearing about the whole farm bit? Who is coming for sweet potatoes when I get them baked?


  1. I love trips like this - and will happily come along as often as you care to invite us.
    How are you feeling today? Still small steps in the right direction? I do hope so.

    1. EC,
      Ha! Where should we go next? I am going to find out where else I can go and take a picnic next time. Maybe an apple farm?

      I am feeling much better even though my chest is still affected and feeling better by the hour. I am pretty dizzy, so I am not sure that is from sinus, antibiotic, or prednisone. Tomorrow, I will call and ask what this is. Thanks for asking.

  2. That is one heap o' sweet potatoes LOL. Every year about this time, some stores have them very cheap. I had mine in a cool room but all together in a box. I think I'll can some this year if the stores have them cheap again.

    1. Patti,
      Just can them in small chunks not as mashed. One year, I did leave them all in their own boxes. Exbf cannot bring in that many, up stairs, because of hips that need replacing. Can you find a grower to buy them?

  3. Hope you're feeling better.
    I loved the tour.
    And because I came into this in the middle--is exbf--EX boyfriend, or excellent boyfriend? Cuz if he's an ex, he sure seems to be in the picture a lot....maybe he's not ex after all? LOL!

    1. Sue,
      Thanks. I am recovering nicely. Oh, I was hoping the tour would not be boring. I know I never think of anything but the planting, harvesting, and buying them. There is such a lot that happens in the middle that takes equipment.

      EX boyfriend dumped me, but said he would help me because I needed help. He is only here one day each week. Yes, an ex and you have me laughing now. It puzzles lots of people.

  4. That was a great road trip! I buy sweet potatoes 1 or 2 at a time. They are .99 - 1.29 a pound where I live. I always wondered how I should be storing them. Thanks for such a helpful post!

  5. Sue,
    Believe it or not, here in the land of sweet potatoes, they are sometimes that price here. I would not buy store sweet potatoes and depend on them lasting for many months. They may not have been kept under optimum conditions before being put in the store to sell or afterwards.

    Whatever you do, just don't store in plastic. They rot.

    1. I meant....I would not buy store-bought sweet potatoes and...

    2. I have a big old stone crock where I store white potatoes under a window on an outside wall (remember, it gets cold here). Do you think it would be safe to store the 2 different kinds of potato together in the crock?

    3. Sue,
      I have no idea. That is a good question. But, I like the stone crock for storage. On an outside wall in and empty bookshelf, and in boxes and bags is where I stored mine for the last two years. Just keep them in the dark.

    4. I had NO idea they needed cured! I bought some at a fruit stand yesterday and was amazed at their sweetness. Prior to this, I'd only had grocery store potatoes !

    5. lotta joy,
      There are different varieties, also. Some sweet potatoes just taste better than others. Sweet potatoes should be cured before selling in store or at a farm stand. The variety I get is so sweet it needs nothing to make it delicious.

      Until I learned lots about 25 years ago, I got sweet potatoes that needed brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and salt. They were basically disgusting until I "fixed" them.


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