New Port Richey FarmNet Celebrates Sweet Potato Round-Up & Fall Farming Festival
Sponsored by Friendship Farm & Fare and Ecology Florida-Hosted by West Pasco Habitat for Humanity
The New Port Richey FarmNet celebrated the 2018 Sweet Potato Round-Up and Fall Farming Festival in October at the West Pasco Habitat for in New Port Richey. It was open to the public at no charge and many local residents attended.
The Sweet Potato Round-Up featured hundreds of pounds of locally grown, heirloom, organic sweet potatoes, offered by FarmNet growers. These sweet potatoes have been grown–slip to harvest–without chemical fertilizers, fungicides, or pesticides.
There were several varieties offered to the public, including: Georgia Jets, Beauregards, Centennials, and Nancy Halls. Sizes varied from small (fingerlings) to extra-large, and quality ranged from A to C. On display was the largest sweet potato the growers have ever seen in these parts – weighing in at over five pounds. Visitors noticed that these local, all natural sweet potatoes look different from those found in commercial groceries, which sell only the grade-A fancy variety. The Sweet Potato Round-Up offered the entire crop, which means there were plenty with strange shapes and blemishes There were also good quantities of those grade-A fancies.
These were also heirloom varieties, the type that simply are no longer marketed in the industrial food system. Buying and using these sweet potatoes supports local organic agriculture, local growers, community gardens, and the FarmNet market project. It also keeps resources in the community, and supports those who have made a commitment to this community. Besides the fresh spuds, the event organizers also had sweet potato recipes available and samples of various ways to prepare them.
In addition to the Sweet Potato Round-Up, FarmNet is hosted ad Fall Farming Festival featuring seeds and seedlings for fall vegetable gardens. Friendship Farms & Fare Springs Coast Watershed Seed Bank had locally acclimated broccoli, gandules (pigeon peas), and arugula seeds and seedlings for sale.