Macon County Chronicle

Sweet Dumplings, Sweet Delicattas and Sweet Potatoes

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The change of seasons is upon us. A fire feels good at night, even though it was way to hot outside not that long ago. A light frost got us busy as bees in the garden.

Sweet potato leaves turned black on top, so we set into digging. Forty two rows later, over 400 bushels are in their baskets. We’ll sont them after they cure out for a few weeks and send them to Nashville and beyond.

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If the vines had turned black, I would have mowed them. The potatoes don’t store as well if the frost kills all of the vines. But only the tops were damaged and the yams look great.

Actually, yam is the name of a similar tuber that grows in Africa and other tropical areas. It’s in a different family than sweet potatoes, but when farm labor was imported to work the fields, the people called the sweet potato yam.

A crew worked all week; cutting the vines, raking them over, and then following the plow picking up supds. They dry in the sun for a few hours before jumping in the baskets and onto the trucks. 400 bushels weighs about 10 tons.

The pepper plants survived the frost, but we did not know that before hand. So we cut a part of the patch and hauled them to the barn. They are plucked off of the bushes and put in baskets.

After gleaning a few tomatoes, there was nothing left to do but let it frost. Tender plants went down, but it only hit the low lying areas. Up on the ridge tops everything is fine.

Cold air sinks, tomatoes a few hundred feet apart, but differently in elevation by 50 ft, show different amounts of frost damage. I was ready to lose some of the frost tender weeds that bother the gardens all summer long.

End of the garden relish would be easy to make now. Green tomatoes, various peppers, garlic, beans, okra, and anything else left in the garden can be chopped up and canned in a jar with vinegar and salt. It’s mighty fine eating on those winter beans.

Fried green tomatoes were in order. The fire warms the chilly house, and the oven bakes a few sweet dumplings, sweet delicattas and sweet potatoes. Summer’s hot days grew these treats for the first cool autumn nights.