LEFT: The Beauregard variety of sweet potato, grown by Nelson and Melba Huffman of McClure, Ill., yielded a 20 pound bunch, as pictured. The Huffmans have been growing this variety for three years. This bunch was planted in May and harvested in October.
October may be the ideal time to harvest sweet potatoes, because when compared to ordinary sweet potatoes, several especially large ones have been unearthed recently.
Jesse Eaker, 81, of Cape Girar-deau, recently grew an 18-pound sweet potato.
Meanwhile, Nelson and Melba Huffman of McClure, Ill., grew a 20 pound bunch of the root vegetables. Other sweet potatoes have weighed in at five pounds apiece.
What the Huffmans's and Jesse Eaker have in common is the variety of sweet potato they chose to grow -- Beauregard.
Beauregards are known for their quick maturity, usually in 90 to 95 days. Growers harvested their potatoes in October after planting them in May. Reviews of the Beauregard variety included comments on their remarkable size.
ABOVE: Jesse Eaker of Cape Girardeau, 81, held an 18-pound sweet potato he recently dug up.
Eaker, who said he got the flair for farming from his mother, fertilized them just once. He plans to save the potatoes for a family gathering for Thanksgiving.
335-6611, extension 133