DEAR A WAY TO GARDEN FRIENDS: This Thanksgiving, I wanted to be sure to express my gratitude to all of you for sharing your garden season with me. If you were here, we could taste-test the heirloom sweet potatoes my friend and neighbor Tod grew and shared: ‘Frazier White’ (white flesh and skin); Purple (that’s all they’re called, he says; purple with purple flesh); ‘Carolina Ruby’ (red); and your basic orangey style. Tod got them all at one of my longtime sentimental favorite catalogs, Glenn and Linda Drowns’s Sand Hill Preservation Center in Calamus, Iowa—and Glenn has shared many things with me over the decades.
I met Glenn more years ago than I care to admit, when I wrote one of my first stories for “Martha Stewart Living,” even before I went to work for Martha fulltime. It was a story about heirloom squash and pumpkins, and to the delight and astonishment of the photographer and art director and food editor, I called in every manner of wacky-looking Cucurbita from collectors and growers around the country, to have their photos taken.
If you want to grow unusual sweet potatoes next year, be sure to reserve your “slips” the moment the 2013 catalog arrives; they’re always sold out fast. What? Not on the Sand Hill Preservation Center mailing list? You can correct that (and besides all the squash and sweets, you’ll be amazed at their collection of things like beans and corn and even heirloom poultry breeds). Tell Glenn that Margaret sent you.
More on the sweet potatoes after dinner, but for now, just this: Thanks!