The Potato Vine Doing Miraculous Feeding To the Nation!
Here is the vine!
The Wonderful vine!
This is a wonderful vine plant that has a variety of products that can be used in the home. It is none other than the sweet potato!
Prepare the land on which you want to grow potatoes adequately so that you will be ready to plant the potatoes when the time is ripe. It is necessary to till the land during the dry weather so that when the rains come one is ready to plant.
Sweet potatoes are stem tubers which develop in the ground. Sweet potatoes normally grow from vines which are planted in the ground with the head pointing upwards. They grow very well in loose soil most probably fertilized sandy soils. Once planted soil is softly added to the vines and with moderate rain, they begin to germinate.
The vines can either be planted on flat land or at times furrows are dug and the sweet potatoes are planted on the raised ground. Harvesting is very easy when the sweet potatoes are planted on raised ground.
Potatoes take between three months to one year to mature. The time it takes depend mainly on the variety of the sweet potatoes planted. Some varieties take longer to germinate than others. Soil fertility and adequate weather conditions may also hasten the maturity of the crop.
The most serious danger to the planted potatoes is moles. Moles can make a home in the potato plantation and eat up most of the crop. One can rid the farm of these rodents by poisoning them.
Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
The wonderful vine has various uses that make it the most sought for commodity in my area.
- The vines themselves are used as a fodder for the animals in the field. When zero grazing is used the vines are cut together with Napier grass and fed to the animals. The vines are very nutritious and provide protein to the animals. They can be preserved as silage and fed to pigs, cattle and goats on the farm. Potato vines are highly digestible by animals and rarely contain harmful toxins to the animals.
- The peelings from the tubers can also be a very good feed to animals. They are fed to pigs, sheep and cattle on the farm. They can also be dried and ground into flour that can be mixed with wheat, fingerlings and other products to make feeds for the chicken. The peelings can also make very good manure to be used on the farm.
- The tubers are used as food in various methods.
1. They can just be boiled and used as food. People in my community use it as an escort for porridge or tea that is taken as breakfast. They prefer the potatoes to be boiled in the evening and used cold in the morning. They are also sold as a snack in streets where low-income earners stay. Potatoes are reach in starch and fibre which is good for digestion.
2. Potato tubers can be cut into small pieces and ground into powder. The powder can be mixed with wheat flour to make buns and chapatti(flat pan fried bread) or roti. The chapatti made this way are normally very sweet.
3. Potato tubers can be cut into small pieces which can be deep fried in fat to make chips. Chips are a type of French fries which are eaten as a snack. The chips are normally fried in kiosks built along the road.
4. Potato tubers can also be fed to animals as an animal feed. They are very nutritious. You can either chop them into small pieces and fed to the animals or you grind them into powder that can be mixed in other feeds.
5. Potatoes can just be made into a stew mixed with meat and eaten along with other foods.
Potatoes are grown all over the world and are used in over 100 countries of the world. Potatoes are very nutritious.
Potatoes like all crops have diseases which attack them. Wilts and many other ailments attack this vine. The potatoes are also fed on by vermin like moles and others. However all these can be put into control and the potato will continue feeding the nation.