Last weekend I actually harvested some compost from the bin because it was totally full. I’m saving it for spring (I put it in an old storage container in the garage), but I still have a hard time mushing everything down after emptying out the bottom (I really need to get a compost turner or something). So this weekend while I was out I made a point to go and try to turn and mix the compost to get some more room for adding food waste over the winter (I don’t add as much food during the summer because it gets SO full with yard waste, plus I can’t use my nifty pre-storage container because if you forget about it outside for like a day when it’s hot, it gets NASTY, which kind of negates the point of it. I use it in the winter, though).

Anyway…as I’m turning things, the first thing I notice is the plants I have composted that WILL NOT DIE. Those would be the lemon grass and spike plants. Way to make me feel guilty for composting you, guys. Thanks.

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compost, damn you!

So after that I’m rooting around mixing things up and I pull up two tubers. Hm, I think. They look like they’re attached to the decorative sweet potato vine that practically overtook my deck all summer. I figure meh, maybe I can save the tubers and use them next year or something. They’d be hard to compost anyway. So I stuff them in a pot nearby that has some soil in it to deal with later. As I keep digging I find another bigger one and realize DUH – it’s a sweet potato vine. They’re sweet potatoes! They were not there when I threw the vine in (at least if they were, they were tiny), so that means they’ve grown while in there.

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sweet potato from annual sweet potato vine

According to this thread on GardenWeb, they are edible. I’m kind of tempted to try it. I am already overrun with sweet potatoes though. I got a few from my mom and then we got like a TON from the CSA last week (I forgot to take pics). They keep forever, but I have nowhere to keep them in my small kitchen/house, so I’m now on the lookout for a very specifically-sized basket or something so I have a place to keep them. I basically have a whole CSA box full, which is a lot, trust me.

So good news, folks: Apparently you can grow potatoes in your compost bin! Who knew?

This post is dedicated to the memory of Frank, who was taken from us recently after a long battle with fin rot. We’ll miss ya, buddy.