Just unearthed sweet potatoes.
By Terra Brockman
As soon as frost threatens here in Illinois, my brother Henry drops everything and calls all hands to come help dig the sweet potatoes.
As I walk the rolling hills to his rich bottomland fields, my footsteps prompt the plaintive call of the Japanese yaki-imo man whose refrain -- "yaki-imo, ishi yaki-imo " (roasted sweet potatoes, stone-roasted sweet potatoes) -- resonates in my head.
This East meets Midwest moment is not so strange since both Henry and I spent the better part of the 1980s in Japan, and since sweet potatoes were grown all over the warm zones of the Americas for some 5,000 years before they were "discovered" by Europeans and disseminated throughout the rest of the world. China now produces most of the world's sweet potatoes.
In temperate zones like Illinois, we need to balance keeping the tubers in the ground as long as possible, with getting them out as quickly as possible when the temperatures fall. It's during those last weeks whenRead More »from Why Digging Your Own Sweet Potatoes is Worth the Effort. (Seriously!)