Weekly mainstay created for Gov. Asa Hutchinson:
With sweet-potato-casserole deteriorate on us, this is a good time to cruise a poignant mercantile impact of a honeyed potato on Arkansas.
I saw sweet-potato prolongation in chairman in Aug when we visited Ridgeview Farm nearby Wynne, where Terris Matthews is a fourth era of his family to grow honeyed potatoes.
Rick Wimberley, a prolongation representative in Cross County, says a Matthewses grow some-more honeyed potatoes during their Cross County plantation than any other rancher in Arkansas. Cross County planted 2,800 acres in honeyed potatoes, some-more than any other county. The Matthewses cultivated about 2,500 of those acres. Other tip honeyed potato counties embody Phillips, Chicot and St. Francis.
The annals of a Arkansas Department of Agriculture uncover that 13 farmers in 8 counties grew honeyed potatoes on 5,000 acres in 2017. Arkansas’ honeyed potato stand ranks sixth in a nation.
Sweet potato tillage is a labor-intensive crop, that creates it an costly crop. Sweet potatoes cost about $4,000 an hactare to furnish compared to about $600 an hactare to grow cotton.
The value of Arkansas’s 2017 stand is entrance in during about $26 million, according to Wes Ward, executive of a Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
Terris and Kim Matthews have honeyed potatoes to appreciate not usually for their provision though for their marriage. They met 18 years ago when Kim was a food merchandiser for grocery stores in Jackson, Tennessee, and contacted a Matthewses’ operation. Now, in further to lifting hundreds of acres of honeyed potatoes, they are lifting their dual daughters, Jaylie, 16, and Tacie, 14, in a honeyed potato patch.
Terris and Kim are so assured that their sweet-potato dynasty will continue that they have named one line of their potatoes “Fifth Generation.” The Fifth Generation trademark includes a sketch of their daughters when a girls were most younger.
This has been a good deteriorate for Ridgeview. The collect came in some-more than a week progressing than usual, interjection to an early open and a right volume of rain.
Terris has been eating honeyed potatoes all of his 48 years, and he still cooking them 3 and 4 times a week. Sometimes, he will puncture one out of a ground, dirt it off and eat it raw. Terris prefers his honeyed potatoes with butter and zero else, though he enjoys a casseroles that embody brownish-red sugar, pecans, cinnamon, marshmallows or a other additional ingredients.
So either we eat your honeyed potatoes true from a earth, baked with butter only, as sweet-potato fries or fanciful adult for a holidays, this is one home-grown food that is easy to find, easy to prepare, and gives we a compensation of ancillary Arkansas farmers.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Republican. State Capitol Room 250, 500 Woodlane St., Little Rock, 72201. 501-682-2345.