YACON

yacontuber.jpg 

Pulled up one of the yacons yesterday.  Yacon’s are quite easy to grow and require little maintenance – even better the tubers are quite tasty!

The Yacón is a perennial plant grown in the Andes for its crisp, sweet-tasting tuberous root. The texture and flavour have been described as a cross between a fresh apple and watermelon which is why it is sometimes referred to as the apple of the earth. The root is composed mostly of water and fructo-oligosaccharides. It has recently been introduced into farmer’s markets and natural food stores in the US.

Although sometimes confused with jicama, yacón is actually a close relative of the sunflower and Jerusalem artichoke. The plants produce two types of roots: propagation roots and storage roots. Propagation roots grow just under the soil surface and produce new growing points that will become next year’s aerial parts. These roots resemble Jerusalem artichokes. Storage roots are large and edible.

These edible roots contain inulin, an indigestible sugar, which means that although they have a sweet flavour, the roots contain fewer calories than would be expected.

Yacón plants can grow to over 2 meters in height and produce small, yellow inconspicuous flowers at the end of the growing season. Unlike many other root vegetables domesticates by the Inca (ulluco, oca), the yacón is not photoperiod sensitive, and can produce a commercial yield in the tropics.

More about using and growing these Andean tubers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smallanthus_sonchifolius
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/2006-06-01/Yummy-Yacon.aspx
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=1398&page=115

Really loving the category feature on the journal.  Who was the idiot who said we didn’t need no stinkin’ categories.  Yep, that would be none other than yours truly. 😉

No Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    Hi Dervaes Family,

    I really like your new site and store! Thank you always being such a great source of inspiration and information! I was thrilled to see the photos of Yacon you posted. I’ve ordered some myself to plant for the first time. I was curious where you have the plants situated in your garden. I was contemplating planting mine in barrels above ground, but I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea. Any additional info about how you have yours situated would be much appreciated. I also would love to hear how you are using it in you weekly menu. Thank you so much!

  2. Laurie says:

    Hi PTF, I am wondering if the yacon is as invasive as jerusalem artichoke? If I plant this will I have it forever and for everywhere? thanks…

  3. Mahaya Menon says:

    Do you sell propagation roots of the Yacon ? If you do I ‘d like to order some .
    Thank you .

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