The sweet potatoes will grow right up until the first frost. At that point, you’ll need to dig them up. The latest 10 day forecast can help you keep track.
If you won’t be curing your sweet potatoes (read below), the best place to bring your donation is the Community Action Coalition, 1717 N Stoughton Rd, Madison. (map)
If you choose to drop them off at any other food pantries (map here) , please cure them first.
Also, once you donate, make sure to update us on how many pounds you donated.
The curing process heals any small wounds and enhances sweetness by converting the root’s starches to sugars. Ideally, the sweet potatoes should be kept in a space (greenhouse or 4-season porch) for about 10 days at 80-85°F at high humidity (85-90%). If that is not available, they can be cured next to a furnace for 2-3 weeks at 65-75°F. An option to achieve the required high humidity (85-90%) is to stack storage crates or boxes and cover them with paper or heavy cloth. Also, packing in perforated plastic bags will allow excess moisture to escape.
Once the sweet potatoes are cured, move them to a dark location where a temperature of about 55-60°F can be maintained during storage. Keep the sweet potatoes out of the refrigerator as they can be damaged by cold. Wrapping cured sweet potatoes in newspaper and storing them in a cool closet or basement is a great option. Stored properly in ideal conditions, sweet potatoes will last between 6-10 months!
Thank you and good luck!