Frances Buckner, of Wheeling, began planting sweet potatoes 45 years ago when neighbor Frank Head gave her a few of his. Because she liked his potatoes so much, she decided to keep planting potatoes from that batch.
"I liked them because they weren't stringy," Buckner said.
From those original sweet potatoes, Buckner planted them yearly by saving a couple of the smaller potatoes from that year's batch. She would place the smaller potatoes in a glass of water around Valentine's Day so the potatoes would grow roots. Once the potato plant sprouted roots, she would then plant it in the garden.
She repeats the process yearly and the plant continues to produce about six potatoes, each weighing anywhere from one to three pounds.
"It's always produced good-sized potatoes," Buckner said.
One of Buckner's secrets to keeping away animals and insects is to place a moth ball in with the potato when she plants it in the spring.
Buckner has saved two potatoes from this year's plant and will restart the growing process again next spring.