Farmers' Kitchen—Sweet Treasures

Sunrise Farm—Norah Lake and Chuck Wooster

Norah Lake and Chuck Wooster

Written on

September 01 , 2008

I’ve always had a certain fascination with root vegetables, grown secretly and mysteriously beneath the cool, dark ground. Root crops weather the changes of the growing season in private, developing steadily out of sight all summer. This makes the harvest of these subterranean crops somewhat like the unveiling of a new work of art: the earth is opened with shovels and forks, and hands reach in. The clinging dirt is swept away and the shape and color of the root is finally revealed after months of secret creation.

When I found out that it’s possible to grow sweet potatoes on our small organic farm in White River Junction, I jumped at the chance to add these deep golden treasures to the harvest list. The plants arrived at the farm in early June this year, spindly slips, little more than a single root crowned by one or two heart-shaped leaves. By August, each slip had turned into a bushy mound of smooth green leaves and twisted vines.

The mystery of our sweet potatoes will be revealed in late September, when we dig the gnarled roots from the ground and share their autumn richness with our CSA shareholders. Here’s a great recipe that blends their natural sweetness with a few classic Vermont flavors.

Norah Lake and Chuck Wooster run Sunrise Farm in White River Junction. Their farm is entirely CSA based, and the 90 shareholders enjoy a wide variety of organically grown crops throughout the May–October season. Heritage breed pigs, chickens, and Navajo Churro sheep are also raised on the farm.

Find out more at www.sunrisefarmvt.com

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