Sweet Potato Greens

The sweet potato greens from today’s beaver bag were grown on campus and shared with the HSRC by Charlotte Epps. A profile of Charlotte and her work on the Intercultural Learning Community Garden at Oak Creek follows this recipe. Charlotte and her garden collaborators partnered with the HSRC this year by sharing knowledge about

Gail Langellotto, Professor of Horticulture, shares her easy recipe for Filipino sweet potato greens. She told us that her recipe [below] for kamote (sweet potato) is similar to this one https://www.vegetarianyums.com/sweet-potato-greens.html

Recipe: Sweet Potato Greens

  • Garden sweet potato leaves: make sure that these are edible sweet potatoes, and not ornamental sweet potato vine.
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1-2 tbsp Oil (for cooking)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Optional: a 1/2 tsp of lemon
  • Optinal: dried fish or dried shrimp (adds a salty flavor)

Break or snip the tender tops of the potato leaves. Because this type of potato is a vine, the most tender part is the top. Gather the leaves and tender parts of the vine and discard the tougher parts. Set aside.

Add oil to a wok or large saute pan on medium heat. Add crushed garlic and diced onion. Let saute for 1-2 minutes, and then pour in the coconut milk before the garlic starts to brown and turn bitter. Add salt and pepper, and a dash of lemon juice (if preferred). Taste, and modify seasoning to your preference

Bring the coconut milk to a rolling boil then add the tender tops and leaves of the sweet potato until cooked or just wilted. These veggie don’t take long to cook.

Remove from heat and serve with steamed rice.

How to Cook Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice requires 1.25 cups water for 1 cup of rice.

In a pan on the stove add 1 cup rice and 1.25 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 12-14 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes. Fluff and serve.

Profile: Charlotte Epps, the Intercultural Learning Community Garden (ILC), and Sweet Potatoes in context

Charlotte currently most identifies as a mixed, multi-ethnic, plant-tending, land nurturer. She is currently pursuing a double degree in Sustainability and BioResource Research, with options in Plant Growth & Development and Sustainable Ecosystems. As one of the lead alchemists at the Intercultural Learning Community (ILC) Garden, Charlotte piloted a collective of student and faculty volunteers who spent the last year transforming an unused corner of Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture into a living container for growing cultural connections. The diversity of plant life at the ILC Garden reflects the culturally expansive community of people that have come together to build this project from the ground up. As an undergraduate researcher, Charlotte conducted a sweet potato variety trial this summer at the ILC Garden. The goal of the research was to learn if certain varieties of sweet potatoes are better adapted to grow in the soils and climate of the Willamette Valley than others. Sweet potatoes are a culturally significant plant to many groups of people all over the world. Charlotte remembers candied yams (which are actually sweet potatoes) as a staple dish at holiday gatherings with her Black family, a common custom throughout much of the African Diaspora. Throughout the discovery and design stage of the research process, Charlotte learned that the leaves of the sweet potato plant were edible, and also highly nutritious. This inspired her to focus part of her research on the growth habits on the vines and leaves, in addition to the more commonly studied root growth habits. Charlotte hopes that through language and intentional communication with the land and all the living relatives with whom we coexist, that we can shift some of the narratives of agricultural research from “yield and profit” to “gratitude and reciprocity”. One of Charlotte’s research mentors, Dr. Gail Langellotto, has so kindly shared a recipe for a Filipino dish that uses sweet potato leaves cooked in coconut milk, & served over rice.

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