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  • Bob Arnold

Sweet potatoes return to town

By Bob Arnold

Sweet potatoes return to town

For area sweet potato lovers, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

For the ninth consecutive year, the world’s best sweet potatoes grown at Landreth Farms in the Vardaman area in north central Mississippi -- the "Sweet Potato Capital of the World" – local gobbled them up at a bargain basement rate to raise funds for the international and local charities supported by Wesson Lions Club.

Members of the Club started selling them during the first week of the month and had run out of them within two weeks -- more than 400 forty-pound boxes of sweet potatoes sold for $20 per box, or 50 cents per pound. Individuals and area restaurants stocking up on the quality sweet potatoes supported the Lions Club's annual fundraising effort.

Landreth Farms officials say it's the loamy soil – along with timely early rains – in the Vardaman area that make their potato crops sweet and special. Landreth plants sweet potatoes on 600 acres, among Mississippi farmers, who raise sweet potatoes on more than 18,400 acres across the state. The farm sells commercially to national food stores, such as Kroger and Wal-Mart; and canners, like Gerber; and produces a line of pre-wrapped sweet potatoes for microwave cooking.

The annual sweet potato sale is among three major fundraising activities of the Wesson Lions Club. The Club also has an annual spring pancake breakfast and sells boiled peanuts at Co-Lin athletic events. It disburses some $10,000 every year to assist deaf and blind persons through the International Lions Club and to support local organizations and causes related to community improvement, children and youth, veterans, hospice care and address other issues and concerns.


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