Sweet Potatoes are dug in September or October, here in Pennsylvania. It is best to wait long enough for tubers to have good sizing up but a farmer has got to get them dug before frost! Once the soil temps lower, the tubers do not grow much. To begin the harvest process, we mow down the green foliage tops. We wait another day or two for the foliage to wilt and dry out, and go in with a tractor and "lift" with our potato digger forks tool. All sweet potatoes on the ground surface are then picked up by hand and placed in baskets and poured into in many 20 bushel macro bins. We forklift the bins and stack in layers 3 bins high into an insulated cooler @ the Packinghouse. But we have the cooler turned off because sweet potatoes need to be cured right after harvest at 85 degrees. We do this by placing a small electric radiant heater in the cooler where the temps climb to 85 degrees and we hold sweet potatoes there for 5-10 days. They are then washed, sorted and ready for distribution to you. The curing process makes the sweet potato sweeter and allows for long periods of storage. Sweet Potatoes continue to sweeten for 2-4 weeks.
To store your sweet potatoes, never refrigerate. Keep at room temperature, dry & dark place, i.e. in a paper bag or box.
September - October
Sweet Potato Ruby Sticks
Scrub 2-4 sweet potatoes with water, leaves skins on, allow to dry.