1) Plant History & General Information:
- Location on Property: Garden M, Garden P and Garden Z, Kahuna Cabin, Bamboo Hut, Banana Hale, Avocado Hale, Ohia Camper
Scientific Name: Ipomoea batatas
- Region of Origin: Between the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico and the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela.
- General History: The leaves are glossy green, with up to 4 cm long, and new leaves are copper in color.
2) Plant Uses:
- As Food: Used mostly for human consumption; large edible root and edible leaves
- As Medicine: Sweet potatoes are extraordinarily rich in carotenoids, orange and yellow pigments that play a role in helping the body respond to insulin. And as unlikely as it may seem, coffee (another Magic food) and sweet potatoes have something in common: They’re both rich in the natural plant compound chlorogenic acid, which may help reduce insulin resistance.
- The famous Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard Medical School found that women who ate lots of foods rich in beta-carotene, such as sweet potatoes, reduced their risk of breast cancer by as much as 25 percent. Eating sweet potatoes is a smart move for you if you have high blood pressure because they are rich in potassium, a mineral known for bringing pressure down. You’ll get more potassium from a sweet potato than you will from a banana!
- Other Uses: Sweet potato vines also provide the basis for a high-protein animal feed. With high starch content, it is well suited to processing and has become an important source of raw material for starch and starch-derived industrial products.
3) Growing Instructions
- Growing: Grows like a weed. The plant does not enjoy frost. It grows best at an average temperature of 24 °C (75 °F), abundant sunshine and warm nights.
- Best time to Harvest: Depending on the climate and conditions, tuberous roots mature in two to nine months.
- Sunlight Requirements: Full Shade, Partial Shade, Full Sunlight
- Soil Requirements: Although sweet potatoes may be grown on various types of soil, best results and highest yields will be obtained on soils that are loose, free from rocks, fairly fertile with a pH of 5.0 to 6.0 and with good drainage. Sweet potatoes are grown in tightly packed or rock-filled soils will produce many misshapen roots.
Propagation: Cutting, Division, Grafting, Seed, Separating
Controlling Spread: Space plants 12 inches apart in rows 36 inches apart.
Difficulties with this plant: The diseases of sweet potatoes are usually not of any great importance in Hawaii if disease-free tip cuttings are used as planting material.
History of this Plant at Hedonisia: /
Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
- 5 or 6 larger sweet potatoes or yams
- water for boiling
- 1 14oz can coconut milk
- 3/4 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp curry
- 2 T olive or vegan butter
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, cover the yams or sweet potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes, or until soft. Mash the sweet potatoes to desired consistency and add remaining ingredients. Yummy!
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