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Murasaki sweet potatoes

Scott Stiller


Joined: Feb 06, 2013
Posts: 140
Location: North Carolina zone 7
    
    1
Anyone ever grew these? What do they like or dislike?


Nothing makes sense until I venture outside
Amedean Messan
pollinator

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 871
Location: Burlington, NC, USA - Woodland, Clay - Zone 7
    
  28
First I heard of it Scott, but thanks because now it is in my radar. North Carolina is the sweet potato capital at least in the United States so I hope it would yield just as good.


Those who hammer their swords into plows will plow for those who don't!
Scott Stiller


Joined: Feb 06, 2013
Posts: 140
Location: North Carolina zone 7
    
    1
There are nine varieties of sweet potato that grow well in NC. Murasaki is one of them. All this according to the NC sweet potato commission.
Ben Walter


Joined: Mar 19, 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Deland, FL
    
    1
I grew these for the first time this year along with two orange varieties (Covington and I believe the other is Beauregard). It had the most vigorous growth of greens...the tubers seemed to form slightly slower but definitely caught up as the season progressed. I just harvested a test batch (about 8 row feet) and harvested 15 lbs. I'm also making silage with the greens and some ground-up damaged/smaller tubers.

I cured the test batch for about 2 weeks in the shed and we baked a few in the skins a few nights ago. They were sweet, but dry. After doing some research I found out that they have a higher dry matter content and are often boiled or fried, as opposed to baked.

It's a great performer down here in our sandy soil!
Scott Stiller


Joined: Feb 06, 2013
Posts: 140
Location: North Carolina zone 7
    
    1
Thanks for the info Ben. Mine did very well too. The ones I harvested two weeks ago are small so I'm not harvesting anymore until next week. There flavor was pretty good though. The continentals I grew did absolutely wonderful and are now my go-to sweet potato. I planted these in a pile of oak leaves from last fall. They have now went underground of their own accord since I didn't prepare the soil in any way. By the way, murasakis make great baked French fries. Scott
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame


Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
    
    3
Murasaki simply means 'purple' in Japanese... there's a wide range of purple sweet potatoes from japan. Most are like 'murasaki' - kinda purplish-reddish skinned with white or yellow centers. Some varieties fatter and some thinner and longer.

I am growing something that looks like 'murasaki', but don't know for sure because they are from storebought tubers. I am also growing an 'okinawa sweet potato' which has deep purple skin/purple flesh for the first time.

Most SP will tolerate some wet conditions, and the japanese probably tolerate wet better than US-developed varieties (1500mm+ annual rainfall), but that is just a guess.


Ben Walter


Joined: Mar 19, 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Deland, FL
    
    1
Mine are actually store bought as well. They have purple/red skin and a white flesh.

Scott...I tried baking some as fries last night. I tossed them with olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper and baked them. They were very good...thanks for the suggestion. My Mom actually made a dipping sauce that was excellent with it. It was mayo, lemon juice, cilantro, salt and pepper. It was a nice match!
Scott Stiller


Joined: Feb 06, 2013
Posts: 140
Location: North Carolina zone 7
    
    1
Yukkuri, that's interesting information. This is the first year I've grown any kind of potato so I'd like to try the Okinawa variety you spoke about.
Ben, your recipe has got my mouth watering. Will be trying this one too. Thanks for the comments guys.
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame


Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
    
    3
Scott Stiller wrote:Yukkuri, that's interesting information. This is the first year I've grown any kind of potato so I'd like to try the Okinawa variety you spoke about.
Ben, your recipe has got my mouth watering. Will be trying this one too. Thanks for the comments guys.


You can probably find the okinawan variety from companies that supply SP slips.

Mine was storebought, and I had a hard time finding one that would sprout - they were conventional and several just rotted.

Unfortunately, I was undisciplined and got all my slips mixed up - don't know which is which at this point.

I'll let you know how they turn out.
Ben Walter


Joined: Mar 19, 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Deland, FL
    
    1
I ordered some of the okinawan sweet potatoes online last year. I tried to sprout them in two different ways and they all rotted. They were pretty soft when I got them, but I thought I would get something. They were shipped from Hawaii...I thought maybe they were irradiated....but they were probably just old and/or not stored well.

Definitely let us know how it goes yukkuri...there's a growing market for that variety. I guess its promoted by folks that are into that Primal Blueprint diet.
John Elliott
pollinator

Joined: May 08, 2013
Posts: 2039
    
  64
Ben Walter wrote: I'm also making silage with the greens and some ground-up damaged/smaller tubers.


So how did that work out, Ben? How long did you dry them before your ensiled them? Did you add any salt or brine? Who do you feed that silage to?
Ben Walter


Joined: Mar 19, 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Deland, FL
    
    1
It didn't go too well. I did a test batch in a 5 gallon bucket. I "chopped up" the greens and stems with a weedeater and then spread them out on a cement slab in the sun. I also ground up a small amount of the tubers in a crappy electric wood chipper. I sprinkled the ground up tubers on the drying greens (probably 20 parts green to 1 part tuber) and let it sit in the sun for about 4 hours...it was pretty sunny for a few hours and then slightly overcast...probably mid to high 80s temp. I also sprinkled some Redmond Conditioner over the greens/tubers.

I then packed it in the bucket, buy adding a little bit at a time and stomping it in with my bare foot. It packed very well, I was amazed how much I fit in the bucket. I put a weight on the lid and let it sit for a little over a month. When I opened it, it was very watery and smelled horrible. I definitely didn't get the greens and stems dried enough. I'm going to do my main sweet potato harvest in the next few weeks so I should have enough to do at least 5 or 6 more test batches.

I'm going to try letting is dry for longer intervals and possibly do a few batches with some other ingredients...moringa leaves, spent-brewing grain, etc.

I'll let you know how the new batches turn out in a few months.
Ben Walter


Joined: Mar 19, 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Deland, FL
    
    1
I planned to feed the silage to the cows and sheep mostly...some to the pigs and I guess the chickens will even eat some from what I have read.

I did have a successful batch of silage in a 5-gal bucket that was layered spent-brewing grains and bermuda-grass hay. It smelled sweet and the cows and sheep loved it!
John Elliott
pollinator

Joined: May 08, 2013
Posts: 2039
    
  64
Ben Walter wrote:

I'm going to try letting is dry for longer intervals and possibly do a few batches with some other ingredients...moringa leaves, spent-brewing grain, etc.

I'll let you know how the new batches turn out in a few months.


Try adding some (a) salt or (b) vinegar to kick start the lactobacillus fermentation. I have a pot of mixed greens (mostly kudzu) sitting in the kitchen that I am trying to ensile, I gave it the double barrel treatment by salting it and adding a little bit of vinegar. The liquid on top is dark green, and it smells faintly like sauerkraut.

I did my sweet potato harvest today and now I have a bunch of vines that I'm trying to figure out what to do with. I didn't want to interrupt my kudzu silage experiment and throw sweet potato vines into the pot, so I just ran over some of them with the lawn mower and gave it to the chickens. Maybe if I chop it all up with the lawn mower and water it good, it will be a magnet for slugs and then the chickens can scratch through it.

Once I get these silage experiments figured out, I'll be ready to get a goat or a pig.
Ben Walter


Joined: Mar 19, 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Deland, FL
    
    1
I will definitely give it a try...thanks for the tips!
 
 
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