Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Perfect Timing

We had a group of 5 strong boys due to arrive on Thursday for 3 days. We start rice harvesting tomorrow. We have zillions of sweet potatoes that desperately need digging up. We have a space in the garden which needs to be dug over, bamboo cut and made into supports and peas planted to grow up the supports. It is absolutely perfect timing for a group of 5 strong boys to be coming. The only problem is... the trip has been cancelled due to a swine flu breakout at their school. Bugger!
You may remember that in May and June I got students to plant lots of kumara (sweet potatoes) for lack of anything else to plant at that time of the year. In theory the part of the garden that most of them were planted in is less than ideal for sweet potatoes. Most books you read about sweet potatoes say that they require very sandy soil, with very good drainage. The area that I planted them in is a former rice field (ie NO drainage and very muddy soil) and it was partially filled with water for most of the rice growing season. I presumed most of them would rot and those that didn't would be so small they wouldn't be worth harvesting. The excessive leaf growth also made me think that all the energy was going into leaf growth rather than the actual sweet potatoes. HOWEVER... when I started to dig them up today I found the opposite was true. They are HUGE! And there are zillions of them. I'm guessing that they are actually too big to be very tasty, but the ones we had roasted tonight with our roast chicken were pretty delicious. I will try to take a photo of the ones I have dug so far tomorrow.... and then I guess I should get on with digging the rest of them, before looking up sweet potato recipes to use every day for the next 3 years!


  1. Wow, what a terrible trip to be cancelled!

    If you get lots and lots of potatoes you might need to look into storage. I don't know if it's based in fact or myth but around here they build weird L shaped holes to store the potatoes so the gasses(??) escape. Sorry, very vague....

  2. Arhhh what timing. How dare swine flu do that to you, now you have to do all the work yourself!!

    We have a few tooooo many sweet potatoes too from friends and kindy will harvest theirs soon but I am the only one who eats it!! I've been hiding it in everything that I can and have even found a cake that I hope to give a go this week! Let us know what you manage to cook up...

  3. i am getting the feeling that sweet potatoes are quite easy to grow. too bad i hate them!

  4. Anonymous9:15 PM


  5. Didn't use any tonight but will try them out tomorrow! No, Friday. Am out tomorrow. There were some big suckers in there though!! Would have been good having some strong boys to help out - saw FIL on his way in the combine harvester to the paddy when I left this morning!