Monday, October 1, 2012

This is a sweet potato plant that took over a 3'X10' worm bin. 

I had cut up and thrown a few sweet potatoes to my worms early this summer, after which Mr. Fritz had covered this bin along with next year's garden space with a green house type contraption of plastic and PVC pipe.  The worms didn't like it as much as the lizards and sweet potato plant did.  Never fear, I do have another worm bin of equal size full of worms, and growing more worms is rarely a problem.  This plant probably took only about 3 months to grow this large in a bin that was fairly full of castings and lots of organic material.  The bummer thing is that sweet potatoes take about 400 days from being planted as slips until ready to be harvested.  We did find a couple roots that were just big enough to be recognizable as sweet potatoes. 
Buck, scarfing down an organic, freshly picked, raw sweet potato.
To my astonishment, our little dog, Buck ate an entire root about 7 inches long and 1/4" around with no ill effects.  We also found a root that was about an inch around and 4 inches long, so I saved that for a couple days and divided it between him and our other little dog, Lady.  He ate all of his and after Lady lost interest in hers, he finished it off too.  This combined with the fact that all three of our dogs love our leftover sweet potato skins, leads me to believe that dogs need something in sweet potatoes.  Buck being the oldest (11 years old!) and least healthy of the three must need even more of it.  Whatever "it" is, I don't know, but regardless, when I get around to finding and improving a good dog food recipe, (because I always tweak recipes) the improvement will involve sweet potatoes in one form or another. 
I suppose vitamin A would be the first thing to pop into my mind when I think of sweet potatoes, BUT there are other good things in sweet potatoes.  Gotta love this link: I use it quite a bit, so its going on my favorites page.  The nutrition in a sweet potato is overwhelming--maybe that in itself is the secret. 
I do have a sweet potato plant growing right now, that I started back in early June.  I did have it on the deck but the nights are getting too cool here for it, so it's now downstairs in our little nursery with a 12/12 light cycle (sweet potatoes are tropical).  It needs to be transplanted into a barrel soon.  My husband cut back the vines on this one, going with the theory that maybe that would give more energy to the roots.  I don't know, this is the first time I've ever tried to grow a sweet potato, so I guess we'll see what happens.  

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