Sweet Potato (Solanum tuberosum)
Potatoes are the fourth most important crop in the world (after rice, wheat, and maize). They were domesticated in Peru some 10,000 years ago, and were a staple of the Andean diet. These ancient Peruvians grew hundreds of varieties of potatoes-sweet, bitter, red, blue-which were baked, boiled, and even eaten for dessert. Now, in America, 65% of the potatoes we grow are used to make processed products-potato chips, French fries, hash browns, etc. Potatoes plus milk make a complete protein-which is why the crop has historically been so important to the world's poor. In America they are a leading source of vitamin C, and are also rich in potassium, niacin, iron, and B6.
- You may find that you get too many potatoes to eat in one week - no problem. Just keep them in a paper bag, in a dry and cool (40 F) part of the house - the garage is good until it freezes at night, then the basement is usually good - away from the furnace.