After reading Julie's post at Towards Sustainability, here and here, well, I just had to try growing this strange sounding vegetable, even if it did take me a couple of years to finally do it. Last Spring, I ordered from Green Harvest and put them into the Sheet Mulch garden bed, which was made during our Blitz in October 2010. I wasn't sure how well they would do, as the beds weren't very deep (and not broken down), but we were surprised at the amount of tubers and rhizomes that we harvested. It was very exciting to dig them and see how many we got!
We tried it raw, sort of like carrot but less flavour, something you could put in salad, and my husband said he preferred it to cucumber. It would certainly go well shredded in a Green Papaya Salad, or even cubed in a Waldorf Salad or julienned in a Coleslaw, with it's crunch and sweetness. Maybe it's because it looks like sweet potato, but I felt weird eating it raw. However, it came out wonderfully when roasted! I also made Yacon & Carrot Fritters the other day, and Cheeky A loved those.As per my post yesterday, it's good to get kids trying different things, and yes, you win some, you lose some, you try again some. (However, it would easily blend into a dish without them realising!)
It was easy enough to grow (it was in the middle of the garden bed, got surrounded by pumpkins, zuchini and squash) and did it's own thing the whole Summer & Autumn up til now. The reason we decided to harvest was it succumbed a bit to the recent frosts. We will try storing the rhizomes to use again next Spring too. You can read more about it on the links provided above. And that is what in the world Yacon is!
(By the way, on the new collage images I have been posting, if you want to see it up close, click on the photo, then when the new window opens, click on the photo again to zoom in... I know you want to!)