Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Increasing perennial vegetables in our garden

Since studying Permaculture last year we have been trying to increase the number of perennial plants in our vegetable garden.  Over summer this year we trialled a new perennial root crop - Yacon.

Yacon or the Peruvian Ground apple is a close relative of the Jerusalem Artichoke - it is a member of the Asteraceae or the daisy family.
Jerusalem artichoke
Yacon produces two types of tubers - the purple - red bumpy tubers that are close to the surface - these are the tubers that we will be storing in a cool dark place in coir peat until spring planting time to produce more Yacon tubers to harvest next year.

Under the purple - red tubers are bigger more smooth tubers - these are the ones that you eat.  We planted only a single tuber this year and harvested all these edible tubers.

Our Yacon harvest - from a single tuber.

Tasting our first Yacons

Yacon passes the first taste test
...but not the second!

I must admit the taste is unusual - an apple flavoured potato  - is one of the best descriptions I have heard.  Truly unique when eaten fresh but as a roasted vegetable it is great.

Roasted vegetable - potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and Yacon.

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