Well 2016 is here and we get a fresh start with a brand new year. I am both excited and scared for this year. We have struggled a lot over the last two years and there is a lot riding on this next year.When my husband came home 3 years ago from the southern vegetable conference and started telling me about sweet potatoes, I laughed at first. Then I listened and we decided to give it a go and we said all along we would give it 3 years. It takes more than one year to see if a business will make money and we wanted to give it a fair shot. So this is the third year and there is a part of me that is scared that by the end of the year we may have to wave a white flag. But then again, things may go perfectly this year, so only time will tell. We have definitely learned a lot about sweet potatoes over the last two years. My husband has all our equipment set up so that it plants just right and we have added some things that are very helpful. We have also made some good connections for selling our product and have options for more next year. In our first year we lost a lot of profit, because we made stupid mistakes. In our second year we lost profit, because of things beyond our control. I do have to say that on a year when we had a devastating drought having sweet potatoes was great. Sweet potatoes are more drought tolerant than field crops and although they were affected, they still did well. We were still able to fill up both our storage trailers and ship sweet potatoes all over the country.
With so much riding on this year, I guess I need to make my exciting announcement. Late last Fall, we decided to apply for WNC ag options grant that would help us to add some things to our operation. We just received our letter that we got the grant! My little family is so excited that we are going to be able to keep making ourselves grow. This could be a make or break us year. And I’m hoping the grant will definitely make us for the year. My prayers are for a great growing season, so that we can see what that looks like with sweet potatoes. Then maybe we will know where to go from here. Oh 2016 I am happy to see you!