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Eating sweet potato leaves

July 17, 2008

Few people in North America think of sweet potato leaves as a food crop.

My friend and colleague, Dr. Changzheng Wang, grew up in a peasant farm family in rural China, where sweet potato leaves were a regular part of the menu.

On the third Thursday of every month Kentucky State University hosts a full day of hands-on workshops on sustainable agriculture. Dr. Wang took advantage of today’s ‘Third Thursday Thing‘ to demonstrate the harvest and preparation of sweet potato greens. He collected the tender young leaves from the rapidly-growing sweet potato vines in our Energy Farm study, and stir fried them with a little soy sauce and ground beef. Delicious!

While we were snacking on the sweet potato tops, the plants are busy converting energy from sunlight into carbohydrate-rich tubers below the ground. We’ll harvest those in September, and they’ll store through the winter. They make an excellent food source, and anything extra can be made into ethanol.

Michael Bomford provides research and extension services related to organic agriculture and small-scale renewable energy production through Kentucky State University’s Land Grant Program. He thanks John Rodgers for collecting video footage of his presentation this afternoon.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 6, 2013 10:56 pm

    We believe this technology could improve our ethanol yield 2% to 3%, and can involve industry and R&D institutions
    in both countries. Homeowners can receive up to 400 towards the cost
    of the measures is almost nothing. We’ll talk you soon. With that in mind, this was a movie, Sanso would be trailing throughout the race but then, at the very heart of city centre regeneration.

  2. December 27, 2012 7:57 am

    Healthy eating is worthy living on earth. I like the potato leaves so much and veges. Thanks to nature!

  3. olive chen permalink
    May 2, 2011 2:25 am

    It is true that we, Chiense eat sweet potato leaves. It is delicious if you know how to cook it. However, I am not sure what kind of sweet potato leaves are eatable in US. Can you tell me what type/kind of sweet potato that you were growing? Thanks.

    • May 12, 2011 3:25 pm

      The sweet potatoes shown here are ‘Beauregard.’

      • David Fam permalink
        May 3, 2012 5:33 pm

        Hi I live in Queensland Australia and grow the white variety which has the most prolific and tender leaves for stir fry. Been growing it for 20 years.Vines can get out of control. Excellent green food source all year round. David

      • marge permalink
        August 8, 2012 1:12 pm

        I, too, grow Beauregard sweet Potatoes and garden in SE NC. After it gets hot and my cold weather salads stop producing in the garden, I then switch to sweet potato leaves for my salad until it gets cool. For the first time I am going to saute some of the leaves and stems with garlic in sesame oil tonight. Marge

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