Our plan: to become really good at one thing – the sweet potato.
Sweet potato is what we grow – that keeps us busy with planting and harvesting from December through to October.
During the slower months we experiment and explore potential fill-in crops. This time is also used to build on the soil health and to prepare for the busy periods.
Each year looks something like this: plant and harvest sweet potato, grow some other stuff, see what works, what doesn’t and start again the next year.
And the overall plan, the main focus is: to grow good quality, nutrient-dense produce, that gives back to and looks after nature.
Looking after nature is one of the main reasons why we grow organically. We do not use chemicals, we limit the amount of tilling / ploughing, use spring water irrigation, and apply certified organic compost and fertilisers. The aim is to work with nature, not against it.
We grow our own seed bank, which we plant annually. From the seed bank we cut our own slips to feed manually through the planter. Having our own seed bank allows for us to control the very first stages of the sweet potatoes’ life, which is added quality assurance. Over the 16-week growth period, on a daily basis, we check the sweet spud growth and the soil health to ensure for a successful crop.
We use a sweet potato harvester which gently up-turns the soil to expose the sweet potatoes. A team of workers then walk behind with bins to collect the spuds and empty them in to larger, water-filled bins. The skin is soft on the sweet spuds, so we have to take care not to damage the skin during harvest. We then wash and grade the spuds on the farm before they head out to market.