farmersof sweet potatoes
Cultivation in North Carolina
At our Battleboro farms, we are always looking for new technologies to supply our customers with the most delicious sweet potatoes.
To plant the sweet potatoes, we use our own sweet potatoes that are left behind from the previous harvest. We let these grow into new plants which we then use to replant in the ground. As a result, we know exactly where our harvest comes from and we do not run any risk of getting certain diseases in our plant material. This enables us to optimally control and monitor the quality of our product We keep meticulous records and are therefore able to trace any quality problems at an early stage.
We also supplement the quantity of plants needed by buying generation-1 plants from NC-certified seed producers. This way, we keep the quality of our crop at top level and achieve the best results.
For a small part of the year, we supplement the range with products from grower partners from other production areas such as Spain, Egypt, China, Brazil, Argentina and Honduras. So that the quality is comparable in every period of the year.
See below how sweet potato is grown.
Every year in February/March, we sow our own plants. By using our own seed from the previous harvest, we are able to control the quality of our product. The seed grows into cuttings (shoots).
In May, we cut off the small shoots and plant them close together in the fields.
In September/October, we harvest the sweet potatoes. To protect the sensitive, thin skin, the harvest is not done mechanically. The potatoes are harvested by hand in buckets and then placed in large wooden crates.
The small potatoes remain on the field and grow into small plants, which are used again in February/March for the start of cultivation. By using the potatoes as stock plants, the crop becomes stronger and stronger.
Immediately after the harvest, we cure the sweet potatoes. This means that we put them for 10 to 15 days in wooden crates in a cell at a high temperature. This high temperature converts the starch in the sweet potatoes into sugar, making the potato sweeter and the skin thicker.
After curing, we store the harvest in wooden crates in well-ventilated, dry and dark storage sheds. The sweet potatoes can be stored for months in good condition.