Delhi, LA-based Dawson Farms LLC is now producing the Orleans, a sweet potato variety that has a slightly redder skin than the similar Beauregard variety.
The Orleans is not stringy and is so sweet that sugar caramelizes on potatoes that have been baked, with one puncture at their top, said sales manager and family-farm member Eva Dawson.
The quality of the sweet potato crop at Dawson Farms is “fantastic, which is a blessing, but it’s a tad bit late,” Dawson noted.
The sweet potato harvest in northeastern Louisiana usually begins in August but didn’t start until mid-September this year, she said. The harvest is to wind down after Oct. 15. Relatively cool weather put 2013’s sweet potato season behind from its beginning.
Dawson said the family has almost 3,000 acres of agricultural production. It keeps sweet potatoes in five refrigerated storage units and has other, ambient storages, as well.
Garber Farms can ship to any state because its fields are certified “weevil free,” thus qualifying for a “green tag certification.” While phytosanitary issues are not a problem for shipping, transportation rates are a consideration. So, the firm primarily ships to Texas and the upper Midwest.
Garber Farms keeps pace with traceability and Primus food-safety procedures.
The firm is a grower-packer-shipper and handles only its own product, which is reassuring from the food-safety standpoint, she said.
Dawson attributes increased consumer demand for sweet potatoes to the commodity’s strong message as a nutritional product.