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Sweet Potatoes

My new favorite natural movement? Digging sweet potatoes.

I am fortunate to live in a place where I can garden year-round. (Of course, that depends on your perspective. I used to lament all the time the yard was buried under snow and I couldn’t grow anything. However, that did allow me to burst into spring with a ton of energy and be very enthusiastic all summer. Now, I have to pace myself… and I’m not always good at that…) So December here doesn’t mean frozen ground, it means it’s time to dig up the rows!

Last year was our first attempt at this plant. We got a surprising number considering the lack of effort, so we tried a bit harder this year. We had a bumper crop, which was very exciting to me. I love it when my garden not only provides good food for us, but that it’s something my kids gladly eat. 😉

Land Man Standing. But as awesome as chard is, my kids prefer sweet potatoes.

Land Man Standing. But as awesome as chard is, my kids prefer sweet potatoes.


The vines were everywhere. Poking out through the fence. Climbing up the bean poles. Trying to take over the cucumbers and loofahs. I just let them go, because, GO FOR IT GUYS! I take any enthusiasm I get from my garden.

But now it’s time to harvest, and I want to take full advantage of the bounty. Let no sweet potato lay unturned! But what that means is, a lot of careful digging. With your hands. In the ground. Perhaps the professionals have perfected some labor-saving technique for mass-harvesting, but why would you want to do that? We need to move anyway for our health, so might as well move while getting these orange beauties pantry-ready. That’s that much less exercise we’ll need to squeeze in some other time!

So, get down low, squat, kneel, bend… and then, dig, pry, pull, dig, and dig some more. The sweet potatoes grew in the well-mixed, enriched-with-compost, softer mounds we made for them. Awesome, they practically jump out of the ground when you pull the vine (at least the smaller ones do)! But they also grew in the paths between the rows, in the compacted, clay, hard dirt. Those little buggers require a LOT of work to get out of the ground.

The Bounty! And there's more where these came from...

The Bounty! And there’s more where these came from…

I don’t want to waste a single one! And the only way to know if you’ve gotten them all is to dig anywhere there was a vine. Thoroughly.  And that’s pretty much everywhere.

Lots of digging.

We’re pacing ourselves…



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