Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Yacon Harvest Time 1-07-15

While most gardeners have put away their tools in January, along with any hopes of harvesting more, our garden still has a surprise waiting in our soil. The magical yacon is about to emerge. 

This garden may look dead. Well, think again.  (1-07-15)

Do you see the red just below the stem? They are rhizomes we will use to propagate next year’s yacons. Each plant produces loads of rhizomes. Perhaps, we can get thirty plants out of this one plant.  (1-07-15)

Below the reddish rhizomes are the tubers, the edible part, which are what we are after. We cannot stress enough how important patience is when harvesting yacons. Instinct says hurry up because it is a cold January afternoon. Yet, muscling yacon tubers out of the ground only breaks off perfectly edible bits. Remember, the yacon tubers have been patiently growing since May and June, so why not let them have a few more moments in their nourishing soil.  Patiently dig around the base of the stem, leaving at least 18 to 24 inches between your shovel and plant. Then, and only then lightly heave upwards at an angle.  As the tubers appear, dig even further down and heave a bit more. Soon the tubers will surface.(1-07-15)  

Here is the harvest from one yacon plant.(1-07-15)  

Here is the harvest from both yacon plants. (1-07-15)  

Here is a better look at the rhizomes, which are located between the stem and the tubers. Each eye can propagate a new plant.(1-07-15)  

Here are three of the yacon tubers up close. They look like sweet potatoes, but they are very different. When one is ready to eat these tubers, they must soften a bit, which can take several weeks at room temperature. To store them longer, keep them in a cool place. Once they soften, their skin will slightly wrinkle. Get out your peeler to reveal their white flesh. From there, they are eaten raw. The taste is sweet and the texture is crunchy like a radish. They can be eaten alone or added to salads. The imagination is the limit with these glorious yacons. (1-07-15)  

Links about Yacons: 

In this bucket, we temporary stored the rhizomes to deal with later. Soon we will place them in a drier location. (1-07-15)  

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