by Katie Keddy
Sweet potatoes are a vegetable that usually make a person think of one of two things – Christmas or Thanksgiving; but here in Lakeville, Nova Scotia, we are working to change that!
Valley Harvest Sweet Potatoes started nearly ten years ago as a trial crop at Charles Keddy Farms (owned and operated by Charles and Doris Keddy, and their son Philip). It was thought they could not be grown successfully on a large scale here in Nova Scotia but my father-in-law, Charles Keddy, aimed to prove people wrong.
Since sweet potatoes are bred to be a southern crop we need to mimic the southern growing conditions as best we can to have a successful season each year here in Nova Scotia. We grow our potatoes on black plastic with a sophisticated drip irrigation system. The black plastic warms the soil and helps keep it moist, and the irrigation system allows us to apply the exact amount of water and nutrients we need to obtain our desired yields. We also actively participate in research trials projects which allow us to improve our crop, yields and agricultural practices.
Valley Harvest began producing sweet potatoes commercially six years ago, and since then their popularity has increased dramatically! We harvested 130,000 lbs in our first commercial growing season, compared to this year’s yield of over one million pounds. We believe much of their initial gain in popularity was due mainly to the increased consumption of sweet potato fries, however that is just one of many delicious recipes that these nutritious vegetables can be used for.
Now, myself, I am mom of two active farm boys, wife to my farmer husband, and I also work on the farm along with a part time job that I love; and even though we grow this tasty vegetable, finding time to cook can prove to be a challenge some days! My goal in the kitchen is simplicity! I need meals that are quick, filling for my hungry farmers but also something that the kids will eat without complaint.
One of our favorite side dishes this time of year using our potatoes is Valley Harvest Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes. This recipe is quick, easy, and the kids love it! It pairs well with any local meat and heats up nicely the following day (though I’d be surprised to hear of leftovers).
Check out the recipe below and feel free to ‘Like’ us on Facebook, where I post more recipes that are delicious and family friendly. Our family would also like to extend a big thank you to all of you, the consumers, who continue to support local farmers and the agriculture industry in Nova Scotia. We are proud to produce for you and your families!
Valley Harvest Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
3-4 medium valley harvest sweet potatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup local honey
2 tsp dried rosemary, or to taste
(fresh can also be used as well)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 green onions, chopped
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Wash potatoes, and peel if desired. Chop into 1″ cubes. In large bowl toss potatoes, oil, honey, garlic and rosemary until potatoes are coated. Place on sprayed baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until soft, and slightly blackened; approx. 20-30 minutes. Be sure to turn over halfway through cooking. Serve as is, or with some chopped green onions sprinkled on top. I also like to add hot peppers, as pictured above, which taste great if you enjoy some spice!
Member of the Valley Harvest Family