By BOB BALGEMANN
Business Journal writer
A typical Thanksgiving meal includes turkey, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, while being topped off with a hefty slice of pumpkin pie.
There’s a good chance that most, if not all, of those ingredients for a holiday feast are produced right here in the Central Valley.
Turkeys? You bet. Potatoes? Yup. Pumpkins? Most certainly. And sweet potatoes? Well, they’re a mighty presence locally. Ninety-five percent of the state’s sweet potatoes are grown in Merced and Stanislaus counties. And, overall, California is second only to North Carolina among the nation’s leaders in growing that Thanksgiving staple. Louisiana is No. 3.
But sweet potatoes are not just for the holidays anymore.
Evidence of that can be found locally where both the acreage devoted to that crop and the gross production value are steadily rising as farmers work to meet the increased demand... Read More