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  • Yacon

    Never grown it before so while I was browsing the seed sites I thought I'm going to try it this year something new. Has anybody grown this before?

  • #2
    Did you grow this Clumsy? If not sorry to be so late replying but yes yacon is very easy to grow, plants get huge and leafy. I'm not sure it has a huge cooking application but it does give a nice sweetish crunch and the roots are really big and store well over winter. It's a good prebiotic but watch out gut bacteria love to feast on inulin, same thing as in Jerusalem Artichokes with the same windy affect for some people!

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    • clumsy
      clumsy commented
      Editing a comment
      Okay I did buy one from pennards. Now I didn't expect it delivered as a plant in compost or I didn't read the description before ordering. It was delivered in a pot unfortunately it was January I put it in a cold greenhouse it never grew. But was looking at different colour varieties last year but never got round to but them. So no never grown one yet on my bucket list of veg to grow.

  • #3
    Will see what I can find, Clumsy. I have a red yacon.
    Last edited by Galina; 02-02-2020, 19:30.

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    • #4
      I also have red yacon kindly donated by Galina to the Seed Circle. It grew really well. Mine might well be OK to send if yours are tricky to put your hands on easily, Galina.

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      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you I. I have found it. Cut 3 starts with eyes which are drying for a couple of days. Then will post. These eyes will grow into new stems and leaves, but first the base needs to root.
        Last edited by Galina; 05-02-2020, 08:41.

    • #5
      Wow thank you for the great offer. I haven't even thought about what I'm growing yet.

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      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        They are cuttings and need to be placed into or rather onto slightly damp compost. They will root very fast, but cannot tolerate frost. Plant out after frost.
        Last edited by Galina; 05-02-2020, 09:11.

    • #6
      Yacon is alleged by the great Dr. Kapuler to be as 'stimulating' for the soil bacteria as it is for gut flora :P
      So even if you can't cope with it in your diet it's likely a fantastic biomass plant and soil carbon accumulator.
      I've never grown it, but if it's anything like Jerusalem artichokes it needs no attention and has no pests.

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      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        There is a good lot of biomass left after harvesting. Usually yacon is left in the ground until first slight frost has just slightly damaged the leaves or definitely before the first penetrating frost. The stems are quite thick and substantial and quite 'juicy'. I have been wondering whether yacon foliage would be a good addition to my comfrey and nettle liquid fertiliser bin. Thank you for the information, I will add them next time.

      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        Yacon is a bit more demanding than JA. They need wide spacing to make big plants. A bit of earthing up or mulching helps too (I just chuck cut grass on them). And they like fertile soil in full sun for the largest roots. You eat the actual tubers and leave the nodules which are at the top around the stem. These nodules have the eyes. The tubers are just for eating, the eyes with a little bit of crown attached get rooted for new plants.

        The effects on the digestive system are milder than JA. Nice to eat sliced raw in salads and stir fried where they make a great water chestnut replacement. They get sweeter with storage. Tubers can also be chopped and boiled down for a syrup which is very good and entirely diabetes friendly as it contains no sugar. Worth considering making your own when seeing the health food shop prices for yacon syrup. .

      • triffid
        triffid commented
        Editing a comment
        Great info, thanks Galina. Makes sense that they're more demanding than Jerusalem artichokes; bigger plants and I was until recently under the impression that they were both from the Andes; I didn't realise the latter are from North America. Would explain their hardiness and semi-feral nature down here.

        The dry leaves are 25% protein by mass*, so undoubtedly would be a good source of fertility for any compost or liquid tea.
        *Fernández et al. (2006) Yacon [Smallanthus sonchifolius (Poeppig & Endlicher)H. Robinson]: a new crop in the Central Europe. PLANT SOIL ENVIRON., 52 (12): 564–570

    • #7
      Do you have a link to his quote triffid?

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    • #8
      Thanks galina I've potted them this morning in a plastic propagator in the greenhouse. The flu is starting to take a hold really not feeling well.

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      • #9
        The first signs of life.

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        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah!

      • #10
        Looking promising.
        Deceptively small starting out.

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        • jayb
          jayb commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, it'll need to be a biggish bucket if it's a permanent home, they get very top heavy. Or are you thinking to grow it at the allotment after the risk of frost? They are great plants as they pretty much grow themselves and would be fairly safe as no outward signs of a crop.

        • clumsy
          clumsy commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm in two minds scared to go out. I was thinking maybe go very early around 6.00 in the morning do an hour only plant few things probably half of the plot.

        • Jang
          Jang commented
          Editing a comment
          Of course, the new measures have come along since you wrote your last comment.
          There seems to be a feeling though that food production should be considered ‘essential’. It’s also exercise of course which is encouraged.

      • #11
        The other two are showing so three out of three.

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        • #12
          They are showing now.

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          • Galina
            Galina commented
            Editing a comment
            Glad all three are looking good. That means that the cut pieces are developing roots. Mine are only tiny dots like in your last photo, but I started them later.

          • jayb
            jayb commented
            Editing a comment
            Two varieties?

          • triffid
            triffid commented
            Editing a comment
            Looking good, cute little buds

        • #13
          jayb you'll have ask galina the third one seems different but it's early could be weather or compost. It was first to grow.

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          • Galina
            Galina commented
            Editing a comment
            No just the one, red yacon. The only one I have ever grown.

          • jayb
            jayb commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, Galina.

        • #14
          Update how they are getting on looks like they are spreading more new growth springing up.

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          • Galina
            Galina commented
            Editing a comment
            A second eye in the right hand pot is turning into a stem. They are looking well. By the time they can go out when frost is gone, they will be reasonable plants already. Thanks for showing us Clumsy.

          • jayb
            jayb commented
            Editing a comment
            They are coming on well.

        • #15
          Seem to be liking the warm weather.

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