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

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

Sweet Potato Stew with Greens

Nalini Mehta, Route to India

Articles about Sweet potatoes

July 31, 2014

Volunteers of the Month: Summer Interns

CUESA says farewell and thanks to our summer interns, Janelle, Henry, and, Sarah.

July 25, 2014

The Great Tomato Debate

Confused by terms like heirloom, open-pollinated, hybrid, and GMO? We’ll help you sort them out.

July 18, 2014

Meet Marcy

CUESA is excited to welcome our new executive director, Marcy Coburn! Find out what inspires her work.

July 11, 2014

Farm Tripping

Summer is prime time for agritourism. Here’s our list of local U-picks, tours, and other farm fun.

July 09, 2014

A Fond Farewell from Critical Edge Knife Sharpening

Bob Kattenburg retires after 19 years as the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market’s knife sharpener.


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 »