Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potato fries. Sweet potato pies. Sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. However you slice them, sweet potatoes are a favorite comfort food, from the streets of San Francisco to Maori tribes in New Zealand, and everywhere in between. This popular tuber is believed to have originated in South America and parts of Polynesia as far back as 1,000 AD. Sweet potatoes grow best in tropical, temperate weather and they do not tolerate frosts or droughts. Even though they are weather-sensitive, however, under the right conditions, sweet potatoes are easily grown, as they have few natural enemies and require very little fertilizer.

Depending on the cultivar - and there are over 400 varieties - the sweet potato root matures in two to nine months. They are sown using vine cuttings, rather than seeds, and are easy to plant. North Carolina is the leader of sweet potato production in the United States (with California, Mississippi, and Louisiana fighting for a close second) and globally, China takes first place. While sweet potatoes are best known for their root, the leaves and shoots are also edible. In Korean cuisine, the sweet potato starch is used to make cellophane noodles and in South America, red sweet potatoes are combined with lime juice to make a dye for cloth.

In Season

September, October, November, December

Available From

Market Days

Recipes with Sweet potatoes

Classic Potato Latkes

Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman, Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

Lorraine’s Sweet Potato Pie

Lorraine Walker, Eatwell Farm

Sweet Honey Sweet Potatoes

Helene Marshall, Marshall’s Farm Natural Honey

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

Catherine Palmer, Pie Contest Winner

Articles about Sweet potatoes

December 14, 2007

Join the Rooting Section

A walk through the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in December dispels any belief that “there are no fresh vegetables during the winter.” Vendor after vendor offers baskets brimming with ruby red beets, husky carrots and plump turnips.

About CUESA

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »