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Yacon!

Recently i’ve discovered a fascinating crop to try growing here. Yacon (prononuced yah-kohn) is a South American tuber, a “lost food” of the Incas. It’s a relative of the sunflower, grows to 2m tall, almost completely pest- and disease-free. Yacon produces a bunch of delicious roots which look something like a yam but you can eat them raw, and they taste like a crisp, mildly sweet pear or apple. The sweetness comes from fructo-oligosaccharides so although it’s tasty, it has no calories. Here are some good links about yacon: the Wikipedia page, an article on the Seeds of Change newsletter, on Plants For A Future and Mother Earth News article about the Yummy Yacon.

A few weeks ago our friend Liza and Josh gave us a couple yacon plants in pots. I planted them in the ground at the edge of the garden and they almost immediately grew into big, happy plants, as tall as a person:

Yesterday, on the way back from picking up our Organic Chicken Feed in Laupahoehoe, i stopped by Liza and Josh’s place, and Josh harvested several yacon plants to give me the root-buds for propagating. (Curled around around one of the tubers was a huge scary centipede, another reason i’m happy we live up at a high elevation, where centipedes don’t like it!) Here are pictures of the harvest, the root-buds, and the result: 20 pots of yacon starts:

This entry (Permalink) was posted on Monday, October 23rd, 2006 at 8:49 pm and is filed under crops, food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response , or trackback from your own site.

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