Sweet potatoes an added crop for tobacco farmers
Carolyn Barber says she and her husband, Jerry, are tobacco farmers. Tobacco, supplemented by soybeans, has been the main crop on their 500-acre Graves County farm for the last 45 years or so.
But in 2000, when farmers were encouraged by agricultural experts to diversify their farms in the face of the Master Tobacco Settlement, Jerry decided to plant sweet potatoes. With good luck and weather, the sweet potatoes could keep the farm workers busy after the tobacco is harvested.
Now the Barbers, shown above, produce about 10 acres of sweet potatoes every year, selling some locally to grocery stores and local buyers, and larger amounts to a vegetable broker. They often sell quite a few to the Kentucky Association of Food Banks, which pays just below wholesale price and will accept seconds that a grocery
And of course, the Barbers eat a lot of sweet potatoes. Carolyn’s favorite way to serve the potatoes is baked with butter on top, but she shares this recipe for a holiday-worthy casserole.