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one potato, two potato…

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Here I was thinking everyone grew sweet potatoes on their windowsills. 

But the surprise that my weedy greeneries evoked in all friends passing through our kitchen this weekend made me realise that it's not, perhaps, a worldwide fad.

Shame. They're super cool! (And gosh that windowsill needs painting…)

I first grew sweet potato plants when I was sixteen and my music teacher at highschool lent me Laurel's Kitchen, as I had just pronounced myself vegetarian, and it was a marvellous book full of vegetarian recipes (and philosophies.) Gosh I loved that book. I thought about it recently as I was thinking about our meat-free month (still under consideration throughout the household) and it's sitting on my Amazon wishlist, waiting for a good excuse!

Anyway, they talked a bit about growing sweet potato on windowsills in Laurel's Kitchen. And so I often have, since. When a potato, or kumera, shoots because it's been sitting in my spud basket a bit long, it goes into a glass and onto the windowsill.

They start about this big:

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And after they've sat on the kitchen windowsill for a bit and gotten in Adam's way while he washes up and he's cursed them (he calls them triffids) a minimum of eighty times, they go into the compost or the garden.

Like this:

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Actually, this triffid was so close to being thrown to the worms after tickling Adam's nose one too many times, that I did a bit of a rush job and only half buried it! It's still growing strong, as you can see:

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xxx

7 Comments on “one potato, two potato…

Jamie
February 22, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I still have my college copy of Laurel’s Kitchen! I love sweet potatoes and never knew anyone grew them in their house like that! If I ever live in a house I want to grow some too! Super cool!

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International Woman of Mystery
February 22, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Instead of a meat-free month (which is pretty intense!), could you consider 1 meat-free day per week? That would be a bit easier to manage, your family might reconsider moving out and you’d end up with 52 days of meat-free-ness for the year which is way more than one month’s worth. Hooray!

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kim at allconsuming
February 23, 2010 at 12:33 am

Wow. Well I never. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. My boys would LOVE to do this. So tell me, once they’re out in the garden, do you then grow your own?

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innerpickle
February 23, 2010 at 4:30 am

We actually only have meat 2-3 times per week now so we’re already on the meat-free day route (do you read Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP? Everyone’s talking about Meat Free Mondays since her last newsletter). I’m more likely to start Meat On Mondays and limit it to once a week. Although I do love your maths. xxx

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innerpickle
February 23, 2010 at 4:34 am

The answer is yes you do, this is exactly how you propagate the plant, but to be very honest I have never dug out any new ones! In the house I’m in at present we haven’t had plants in the ground long enough, I didn’t grow them in my time in Queensland and before that I would compost them (and they’d grow in the compost but I never dug them out.) Good point. Will have a dig in eight weeks or so!

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nest
February 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Fab idea. They look gorgeous in the window like that. x

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katepickle
February 24, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Do they ever grow and produce new sweet potatoes? It’s too cold and frosty here for sweet potatoes.. or so I thought, but maybe if I started them on the windowsill…. mind you they are never left long enough to grow in this house! Yum!

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