Sweet potato success in marginal gardening year

Back in March we purchased Japanese sweet potatoes from the Belfast Co-op and placed them in soil to sprout.  In early June Makayla took cuttings from the sprouts, stuck them in a raised bed and covered the bed with row cover.  When the plants grew so they were forcing the row cover we removed the cover and let them spread.  The plants were healthy all summer, with little or no insect damage.  Just before the fair in September we dug three for the fair and were disappointed the they were still fairly small.  For some reason we still won a blue ribbon!  Two weeks later we dug the whole mess and were surprised to find large tubers growing in the middle.  Below is the evidence.

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