Sweet potato

De aardappelhoeve likes to step up to the plate. In 2017 we started cultivating yams or sweet potatoes. This way we answer the current trends in food and the rising demand of our clients.

Is the sweet potato a real potato?

Sweet potato is a rather misleading name. It isn’t a real potato. But what is it then? The sweet potato or yam is in fact a root vegetable. It’s related to the bindweed, while the potato is a true root vegetable. So don’t just call a potato a yam!

Sweet potato, a long road

Sweet potatoes are most commonly found in North and South America or on the African and Asian continent. You don’t have to guess this product has a fairly large ecological footprint. As we focus on the local and Belgian aspect with regard to all of our other products and services – certainly during the storage season –, we wanted to bring the sweet potato closer to home too.

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From water scarcity to drip irrigation

The sweet potato is a tropical plant. It needs a lot of warmth and water. Belgian summers get hotter every year but water remains scarce. As the water level reaches a critical level, farmers are often forced to stop irrigating. We implemented drip irrigation so we can use the water as efficiently as possible. We only give drops of water where needed. Such a drip irrigation system is already installed during the planting process. It’s a fairly big investment at the beginning of the cultivation, but you manage the water in a clever way and it’s easy to use. Besides, did you know you could save up to 80% of water consumption thanks to drip irrigation?

Interesting facts of sweet potatoes: harvesting and curing

In case of normal potatoes you destroy the foliage above ground before harvesting. This allows the potato peel to harden in the ground and then you can harvest. In the case of sweet potatoes you don’t have this possibility and that’s why we help the shelf life thanks to the curing method. Right after the harvest we store the sweet potato for a week at a constant temperature of 30 degrees and a relative air humidity of 95%. By doing so we can store the sweet potato for a year after date. After the curing process they can be stored like a normal potato at a temperature of 12 degrees. 

De aardappelhoeve is the reliable partner for retail and producers of products derived from potatoes.

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