Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sweet Potatoes Galore!

Seriously, folks, sweet potatoes have to be the easiest thing on the planet to grow... at least in Florida. After fighting with my fingerlings to actually sprout while the weather was still cold, I gave up. I have since filled my sweet potato bed, mostly from ones that keep sprouting up through my weed barrier next to a green pepper plant. It was last summer's sweet potato bed and evidently something got left behind during harvest. I still started some slips from fingerlings and just cut about 4 of the biggest slips from them to completely fill the bed. I also looked in our remaining basket.

The humidity in the air (which has been THICK) was enough to sprout slips on their own! Here they are as proof. I'm now swimming in slips with no one wanting them.

So this is where I convince you that you should come take my slips. Sweet potatoes need basically nothing. Nothing's going to dig them up but you so no fence is required. They like sandy soil though you'll get bigger ones with a touch of fertilizer. They are extremely drought tolerant so there's no need for watering once they get established (you know they're established when they show new growth). No need to harvest until after the first frost. Dig them up and leave them in a cool, shady place (we used our porch) and eat all winter. Don't wash them until just before you cook them as the dirt helps preserve them.

So, Volusia County-ers, drop me an e-mail and I'd be happy to pass these on to you... maybe with some lemongrass!

Lemongrass Tea

We stay hydrated through the summer with some yummy homegrown iced tea.

Here's about half of our herb garden (pineapples, oregano, okinawa spinach, mint, green onions, aloe and a gardenia are in this section)

Here's the lemongrass. This stuff grows like a weed. A single plant is PLENTY for all the lemongrass we can drink. I'm planning on ripping most of this out so that I'm not creating such a nice snake habitat right next to a walkway.

Here's the mint being picked by the little farm girl.

And the stevia. This plant was well over 5' tall last fall. I thought it died over the winter, but it came back all on its own.

Here's all our tea ingredients (minus the water).

And everything in a pot with a gallon of water.

And the end result! Full of antioxidants and completely organic. I'd be happy to supply anyone with lemongrass plants and some cuttings of mint and stevia if you're in volusia county.

Now if only we didn't have to BUY our water! The well tastes really bad!!! :-(