Wednesday, 6 January 2016

New Zealand Yam Harvest

Last year I grew some New Zealand Yams (Ocas), I've only just got round to harvesting them as it's been so mild I had no risk of the frost killing them off, they do say to leave them in the ground for as long as possible but I might have taken that to the extreme!
I brought some from the Real Seed Company and Dawn From Doing It For Ourselves In Wales also sent me a package with them in. It was really good because it gave me a good amount to grow and a good mix of red and white ones as well.
They all grew well over the summer and the leaves were a great snack in the garden, but I didn't realise how well they were growing until I came to harvest them.
White ones
 The girls and I have dug up no end of these. It's been a fun game for them because it's like finding buried treasure, a little shining red or white grub like tuber in the mud, lots of cries of "There's one!" and giggles as they get stuck in the mud. 
Red ones

Getting stuck in! It's pretty muddy here! 

Full builders bucket and that's not all of them! 
We had a full builders bucket of red and white tubers, plus a good few large pots full as well. I cooked them for the first time on New Years Day and they tasted really nice just roasted with the rest of the veg.
I think that these are a great backup crop to have in the garden, a relativity trouble free source of carbohydrates, unaffected by blight, and is meant to store quite well. Another advantage is that very few people will recognise the crop while it's growing. 

Who else has grown these? Any good recommendations for cooking them and storing them?

25 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Cheers Dawn, I should have my own stock to pick from now ! Thanks for a good start on them though!

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  2. They look a bit like Jerusalem Artichokes; do they taste anything like them?

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    1. that was my first thought too. are they similar in taste?

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    2. A little but they have a slight tartness to them. Kind of like a potato. I'm not great at describing this!

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  3. great post, might have to have a look into these as an alternative to tatties to mix things up a bit

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    1. I think they're a great thing to grow as an alternative. they'll take a little longer to prepare though as they're so much smaller.

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  4. great post, might have to have a look into these as an alternative to tatties to mix things up a bit

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  5. Try steamed or boiled (you need to be careful not to overcook) and then toss in a little garlic butter. They are Hubbys favourite root veg.

    viv in nz

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    1. I'll try that! Got lots to try it with!

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  6. I have never seen those here but they would probably do well. I can't leave things like that in the ground as mice will eat them. You guys had a big time of it.

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    1. I have mice problems as well but they've left these alone. Try them, great crop for hard times.

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  7. Hey Kev, what do they taste of? do you have a picture of the leaves

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    1. http://peopleplantslandscapes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/success-with-ocanew-zealand-yam-in.html
      A link to a blog with some photos of the leaves. They taste good, potato with a hint of apple.

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  8. I still have some of mine in deep grow bags, will have to dig them out soon.

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  9. Dawn very kindly sent me some too and I harvested them last week, I've been meaning to do a post about them.

    I like that you can eat them raw as well as cooked and quite a few have been consumed that way in our house. But tossed in olive oil and some salt and pepper and cooked in the oven they are delicious.

    As you say I think they will make a good back up crop as they aren't affected by blight. I didn't eat any of the leaves, I didn't realise you could, but I thought they made a lovely bushy plants I had mine in large pots at the doors of the polytunnel and they looked wonderful.

    Dawn told me to wait until the first frost to harvest them but it just didn't come did it, so I upended the pots and had great fun picking out all the tubers. I think I will save quite a few of them to plant next year, or I should say THIS year!!

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    1. Haven't tried them raw so I'll have to do that next. I'm going to give some away at the seed swap next month as well I think.

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  10. I can just imagine your girls having fun digging and looking for those!
    I just saw this on Facebook. It made me think of your doing wood items for sale online. They are small so would make them easy to ship I would think. I personally think they need a line at 1/2" as well not start at one" inch.
    Anyway ran over here to share the link.
    http://www.turningforprofit.com/garden-dibbler/

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    1. Good idea thanks the only trouble with the garden dibber is there is so many on the market and you need to turn them at a high speed to be in with making a profit.

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  11. Kev, do you ever go by Dani's blog. She's in South Africa and lives out in the countryside, off grid. She is like you, always exploring and experimenting with new seeds and plants. She sends people seeds sometimes. If you don't go there already, you should swing by I bet you would have a lot in common with her. Her blog is called Eco Footprint.

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    1. Oh, Hades. Never mind. I just checked your blog role and I see you already know her.

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    2. Yeah, her blog is great, I'm still eating sweet pickled chillis because of her blog!

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  12. These sounded like a great new crop to try, are they easy to grow and do they taste like anything we know e.g.) potatoes, turnips ?

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    1. They taste like a pototo with a hint of apple. Very easy to grow with very few problems so far.

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