Sweet potatoes are a sweet, starchy tuber of the plant Ipomoea batatas, which is native to the tropical region of the Americas. They are very nutritious and high in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, potassium and fiber. Today, there are hundreds of varieties of cultivated sweet potatoes that range in color from white to orange to purple.
The words “sweet potato” and “yam” are often thrown around interchangeably, but they are two different plants. Sweet potatoes, with their smooth and thin skin, are in the morning glory family, while rough and scaly yams are related to lilies. Yams are rarely available “fresh” in the United States.
Sweet potatoes have long been cultivated in southern US and many thought they were nearly impossible to grow in Wisconsin. This all changed in the last ten years. Local farmers experimented and discovered varieties of sweet potatoes that would grow in the north. Today we get a bountiful supply of organic sweet potatoes from Levi Miller, an Amish farmer in Mt.Hope, WI that you can find in our produce section October-March each year.
Last year, VFC Customers purchased 11,248 pounds of local sweet potatoes from Levi Miller!