Our Order Deadline Has Passed for 2020

Our sweet potato slip season has come and gone for 2020.   Check back with us April 2021 when we will begin collecting orders for the next round of planting.  Meanwhile, read below for an idea of what to expect.

We DO NOT SHIP sweet potato slips!

Our slips must be accessed by store pick up or through our farm delivery routes to Hillsborough, Cedar Grove, and Concord, NC.

New for 2020, and a note about last year

Last year we learned some hard lessons.  In trying new varieties, we experienced some miscommunication between farmer, salesperson, and us.  This miscommunication resulted in some of our customers harvesting sweet potatoes with very different characteristics than what was promised.  We understand the heartache this caused and are committed with Burch Farms (our grower) to not let this happen again.  To make communication crystal clear this year, Burch recently brought us NINE BOXES OF SWEET POTATOES!  We were able to photograph, taste, and describe each of the varieties we will offer this year so there will be no surprises!  We also conducted a grower survey last fall and are sharing those results with you as well.

Not Offering This Year - We tried the new NC-531s last year, and grower feedback was not great.  In our in home taste test, we found the flavor to be lacking, so we find this sweet potato to be a waste of time.  You deserve better!

New This Year: NC-122 - This potato comes with all kinds of great grower notes from Burch Farms.  The 122, in fact, is Ted Burch's personal favorite.  More details below.

Pricing 

  • 25 slip bundle $4.95
  • 50 slip bundle $8 
  • 100 slip bundle $15
  • 500 slip box $50
  • 1000 slip box $75

If you purchase different varieties, then we will be charging the price per variety.  In other words, 100 slip bundles of five different varieties will cost $15 x 5 = $75, not $50.  Sorry, but there's just a lot more handling involved! 

How to Order

Given the high volume of phone calls due to COVID-19, it's best to email us your order.   Send your email to melinda@chathamfarmsupply.com and include the following:

  • Customer/Farm Name and any additional email address for future communication
  • Phone Number
  • List of varieties & quantities desired

You will receive an email confirmation of your order.  No prepayment is needed for orders under 1000 slips.   For growers buying boxes of 1000, we request a $25 deposit per box.  Deposits can be paid over the phone by credit card after you've received an order confirmation or by mailing a check.

Dates to Remember

  • Saturday, May 16 - ORDER DEADLINE - I need to get numbers to our grower!
  • Monday, (June 1) -  Store pick up for whole box orders (1000 count)
  • Tuesday, (June 2) - Store pick up for smaller orders & general walk-in sales begin
  • Tuesday (June 2) - Delivery to Orange/Durham Farms
  • Wednesday (June 3) - Delivery to Lomax Incubator Farm, Concord, NC

      2020 Sweet Potato Varieties

       

      Bayou Belle      

      • ​​Days to Maturity:  110-120 days
      • Skin Color:  Red/Purple
      • Flesh Color:  Deep Orange
      • Flesh Texture:  Firm, Moist

      Varietal Characteristics:   Developed in Louisiana, Bayou Belle is an excellent Garnet variety with superior yield.   The Bayou Belle produces similar to a Beauregard but consistently yields 10% higher.   Consistent shape but some variability in size.  Great flavor and good for processing.  Resistant to streptomyces, fusarium wilt, soil rot and root-knot nematode. 

      Grower Feedback:  Bayou Belle far exceeded expectations for appearance, flavor, and yield.  "The Bayou Belle did great for us this year.  I didn't weed or keep them up as I should have, and they still made tons of potatoes."~Jason Roland, Lexington, SC

      In-House Taste Test:  Slightly sweet, high moisture, undertone of apples or carrots, easily mashable.  We didn't find them as sweet, but Jason (the grower quoted above) said his crop was super sweet.... maybe differences in soil type?

      Quick Note:  You'll notice below that every other variety has a photographed box of sample potatoes with a ruler for size and shape reference.  At the time we took those pictures, the box of Bayou Belle's had vanished and not one of the Country Farm and Home staff owned up to it.  LOL!

        

      Beauregard             

      • Days to Maturity:  100 days
      • Skin Color:  Rose
      • Flesh Color:  Orange
      • Flesh Texture:  Light, Moist

      Varietal Characteristics:    Short growing season, excellent yielder of uniform oblong tubers.    Good storage.  Resistant to streptomyces soil rot, fusarium wilt but susceptible to root-knot nematode.  Excellent choice for sweet potato pies and butter recipes.

      Grower Feedback:  Met or exceeded expectations in flavor, appearance, and yield.  A solid performing sweet potato across the board.  

      In-House Taste Test:  Super sweet!  This was Melinda's favorite.  Smooth, mashable texture with rich flavor, undertones of caramel.

        

      Covington    

      • Days to Maturity:  105-115 days
      • Skin Color:  Dark Rose
      • Flesh Color:  Orange-Yellow
      • Flesh Texture:  Light, Moist

      Varietal Characteristics:    A commercial giant, 90% of commercial sweet potatoes grown in NC are Covington.   The Covington grows well in many different types of soil and produces high yields of uniform tubers.  Resistant to Fusarium wilt and moderately resistant to streptomyces soil rot and the southern root-knot nematode.  

      Grower Feedback:  Solid performer and super consistent, met expectations for appearance, flavor, and yield.  "We have consistently had VERY GOOD appearance, flavor, and yield from the Covingtons we source from you.  The taters are beautifully shaped and sized with few jumbos, are easy to harvest, store well, and are delicious.  Our customers love them."~Jane from RambleRill Farm

      In-House Taste Test:   These sweet potatoes were noticeably larger than all of the others, and therefore, took longer to roast in the oven.  Good balanced sweetness and moisture content.  Mashable or would hold up well as large roasted chunks.

        

      Jewel                        

      • Days to Maturity:  120-135 days
      • Skin Color:  Light copper
      • Flesh Color:  Orange, to soft yellow when cooked
      • Flesh Texture:  Light, Moist

      Varietal Characteristics:    Developed at NC State, Jewel is prolific and well-adapted to southern growing conditions.   Disease resistance includes fusarium wilt, southern root-knot nematode, internal cork and sweet potato beetle.  

      Grower Feedback:  Just a few growers grew Jewel last year.  Feedback was split evenly between meeting expectation and not meeting expectations with no elaboration as to why.

      In-House Taste Test:  First, look at the pictures above.  Jewels had holes and pits in them that negatively impacted their appearance.  Melinda hated them, thinking they were a pointless sweet potato - firm and not very sweet.  Hillary was more open minded comparing them to a butternut squash and seeing their value in recipes where a firmer sweet potato would be needed:  tempuras, fries, chips, and curries.

        

      Murasaki      

      • Days to Maturity:  115-125+ days
      • Skin Color:  Purple
      • Flesh Color:  White but turns yellowish, greenish, gray when cooked
      • Flesh Texture:  Firm, mealy (mashable)

      Varietal Characteristics:     A Japanese variety with a nutty flavor and loads of Vitamin C.   Days to maturity is longer because it takes more time and energy for the high starch to be accumulated in this variety.   Holds up well to cooking as chips, fries, or wedges.   Disease resistance includes fusarium root rot and southern root-knot nematode.

      Grower Feedback:  Exceeded expectations for appearance and flavor, but yield was all across the board.  An inconsistent performer - expect yields to be considerably lower than the production varieties like Covington.

      In House Taste Test:  Full flavor, starts out earthy with a sweet after taste and a hint of apple.  Firm, dry texture makes this a good choice for tempura, fries, chips, and other recipes requiring the sweet potato to hold its shape.

        

      NC-122

      • Skin Color:  Deep Red
      • Flesh Color:  Deep Orange
      • Flesh Texture: Slightly firm

      Varietal Characteristics:   Our grower Ted Burch reports these to be his favorite sweet potatoes.  He noted that they have the BEST storability, good shape and high yield.   

      Grower Feedback: This is a brand new variety for us to sell this year.  We can't wait to hear what you think!

      In-House Taste Test:   Excellent, rich, sweet flavor reminiscent of caramel but with a firmer texture than some sweet potatoes making it versatile to either mash or use for fries and other recipes where holding shape is necessary.

        

      O’Henry                    

      • Days to Maturity:  100 days
      • Skin Color:  Cream
      • Flesh Color:  Cream
      • Flesh Texture:  Firmer than Beauregard

      Varietal Characteristics:    An O'Henry is supposed to be a relative of the Beauregard, basically having the same growing characteristcs, size, shape, yield and flavor but with a cream colored skin and flesh.   Look at the above picture.  Something is weird here.   Tubers are oblong and look more like overgrown roots than a potato.  Burch Farms gets their seed stock every year from the NC State Micropropagation lab (as all large NC growers are required to do), but we are wondering if something has hybridized in this variety.   We wondered whether we should even offer it, but if you've grown our O'Henry slips in the past and want to grow them again, go for it.  We're not a fan.

      Grower Feedback:   We had good reports about yield, but these sweet potatoes did not meet expectations for appearance, possibly due to what we described above.  One grower also reported a light pink skin instead of cream color among her crop.

      In-House Taste Test:  Firm and not as sweet as a Beauregard.  Having said that, Hillary went home after the taste test and cooked more for dinner and reported these ended up being a favorite of hers... go figure...

        

      Scarlet

      • Skin Color:  Purple
      • Flesh Color:  Purple
      • Flesh Texture:  Firm

      Varietal Characteristics:    This is the variety that was misrepresented last year.  We thought it was a Charleston Scarlet, when in fact it was an all purple variety simply called Scarlet.  We cannot find published data on this variety, so we are relying on grower feedback from last year and will collect additional feedback this year. 

      Grower Feedback:  Keep in mind that our grower feedback was somewhat tainted given that growers bought these slips thinking they were going to harvest an orange sweet potato, not a purple one.   Having said that, results in appearance, flavor, and yield were completely across the board with low to high ratings.  Overall, from the feedback, you should expect a lower yield from this variety than the production potatoes like Covingtons.  One gardener said, "impressed with the taste and will increase amount of them next year," while another said, "The purple sweets did not produce at all.  Won't get them again."  (Hmmm... see why this is so hard for us?)

      In-House Taste Test:  More savory and earthy flavored that a standard orange sweet potato with undertones of beets.  Firm texture that holds together well and could be riced for some recipes (like cheesecakes and pies).

      Are You Still Reading?  Just For Fun...

      Wow!  If you've made it this far, you must really like sweet potatoes or are bored out of your mind with the COVID-19 outbreak.   So on March 29 in Melinda's kitchen, Hillary and Melinda roasted, photographed, and tasted all of the above sweet potatoes with Melinda's kids, Aidan and Summer.   FYI:  Melinda's husband did not participate.  Being Irish and a huge fan of a starchy Irish potato, he stated that, "Sweet potatoes are a second-class potato and should only be considered as food for animals!"  We completely disagree!  We are posting our taste test results below if interested...