Ontario grower and wholesaler Streef Produce Ltd. is expanding into sweet potatoes.

Owner Peter Streef said his family has purchased equipment from a veteran grower, Jim Clark, who will stay on as a consultant.

The company also has purchased a farm in Princeton, Ontario, with plans to transform the barn into a curing and storage facility.

“We have the capacity to grow 400 to 500 acres of sweet potatoes,” Streef said. “We need local product until April or May, so we need a larger volume.”

Known for their health benefits, sweet potatoes have replaced a lot of potato production in Ontario, he said.
He anticipates the company’s four new junior partners, including his son and three nephews, will put in 50 to 100 acres this summer.

“We’ll be experimenting with (up to) 70% of a new variety, similar to covington, that has been grown in Ontario for several years,” he said.

“We’re also transferring knowledge from the older generation to the younger generation to develop this crop in Ontario.”