Of Sweet Potatoes and Cover Crops

Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

It’s late fall, and for many of us in the United States it’s the time to cultivate the garden, plant the cover crops, and figure out what to do with all that amazing harvest.

For those of you who grew sweet potatoes or yams this year, we hope you ended up with a bountiful yield. We know what it’s like to end up with crates and crates of potatoes and feel perplexed about how to store them, especially if you don’t own a root cellar. 

You will need a stack of old newspaper or craft paper, scissors to cut the paper, and buckets or crates in which to store the wrapped vegetables.

Dig your tubers, shake as much dirt off of them as possible, and pile them somewhere indoors out of the weather. Allow them to air dry for a few days until they feel dry to the touch, and any remaining earth or sand on them has dried. As long as there is damp soil clinging to them, they will be much more likely to rot.

When they feel dry, cut or tear pieces off of newspaper or craft paper that are big enough to wrap around each potato. You will be happier if more people join this party, since it takes awhile to wrap dozens of potatoes. =)

As each one is wrapped, begin to layer them into your crates or buckets. A bin with good air flow is preferable. Individually wrap each one and stack them into containers. Store your containers in the driest, coolest location that you have available! We’ve been able to store sweet potatoes in this way for entire winters in the Midwest. It is so amazing to have them right at our fingertips. 

Planting a cover crop may feel like just another extra detail, but it will help to protect your soil from erosion, as well as add back fresh nutrients. There are many options to consider, but some of the more popular options are rye, mustard, clover, legumes, oats, or buckwheat.


Happy harvest season to each one of you from Everwilde Farms!


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