In my attic office, next to a south-facing window, I’m setting up sweet potato slips.
Instead of growing them, I could just buy sweet potato slips in the garden center in the second week of May. But because it’s doable and fun, I’m growing them myself.
One method is to fill a plastic container half-way with potting soil or coconut coir or a mixture of both.
Keep the soil moist but not sopping. Keep it in a set-up that holds humidity. Give it sunlight, too, and open the container every day to let out some of the extra moisture to prevent mold. Add water as needed.
In a month or so, several “slips” (leaf shoots ) will be a few inches long. They can then be removed and put in a glass of water, to develop a set of roots.
It is now March 7. In mid-May, the slips will be planted. Beneath the soil, lots of tubers will grow, so in autumn we’ll have a small harvest. At the same time, long vines bearing edible leaves grow in abundance.
Sweet potato leaves are considered an important potential food source, both because they are nutritious and because the sweet potato will grow in near-drought conditions.
The leaves have been studied for their medicinal properties. They are rich in antioxidants and are strongly anti-diabetic. As a vegetable, the leaves are eaten raw or cooked like spinach.
Sweet potato leaves are listed as a galactagogue and used to support milk production in parts of Africa and Asia.
For more information, see my book A Mother’s Garden of Galactagogues.
I personally experienced that #galactagarden fresh vegetables and herbs were powerful milk-boosters, stronger than herbs in capsules, tinctures, or tea.
I have risk factors for low supply: PCOS and IGT. My exploration of #galactafood led to my book Mother Food.
The fact is that mothers around the world prefer #galactafood – that is, using lactogenic ingredients in their food – instead of concentrated tea or tinctures.