Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sweet Potatoes

I am seriously questioning my abilities as a gardener.  Now, this has been a year that would make a seasoned farmer question his ability, but I'm definitely having a hard time.  My potatoes this year were a disappointment.  As a friend of mine would say, "all hat, no cattle".  The sweet potatoes, unfortunately, have met the same fate.

I decided that today was the day I should dig them up.  It hadn't rained in a few days and the soil wasn't too damp.  I pulled the first vine and got....roots.  And vine.  I pulled the second.  I got a sad excuse for something...
I've included the spiderweb just because of
Halloween, and in case you're wondering,
that's a cherry tomato.

This is the sum total of my harvest.  At least, from below the ground.  I was determined to get something out this, so I got on the web and found an interesting tidbit.  Apparently, sweet potato vines and leaves are an Asian and an African green, and The Bitten Word has a good recipe.  After reading this blog entry, I decided I would at least sautee some of the greens (there were quite a few).  

No potatoes, but lots of leaves.
I started with olive oil, added some onion, and after it had softened, added the sweet potato leaves and some salt and pepper.  All told, it took about 5 minutes, and was very tasty.  The leaves were a little sweet, not tangy like mustard or turnip greens.  Definitely something I could incorporate into my recipes.

So, at least my sweet potato episode hasn't been a complete waste of time.  I am wondering about the Smart Pots - I used them for potatoes and sweet potatoes this year, and neither has had a good harvest.  I'll have to try them again next year and see if I get a better result.  Either way, I've found a new way to eat sweet potatoes. 
The final result

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