A couple of days ago (before this heavy cold frost) I had a dig around my Oca (New Zealand yams) bed (this post is in response to Sol asking when to harvest them - in truth it's a guessing game!).
We had a frost that killed them the earlier in the month so I left them a good three weeks, where the tubers are then meant to swell, the later this happens in the year the better as they only form the tubers as the days get shorter.
I only dug up half the bed and I was very disappointed by the results, the tubers are all small and very few in number. Compared to last years harvest where I had a couple of buckets worth it's going to be slim pickings with only enough to replant really.
I'm going to leave the other half in the bed a little longer and see if that makes any difference to the size of the tubers. All i need to worry about is pests and them rotting in the ground so it's a bit of a gamble.
It's a shame as this is a crop with such potential, but it needs some development to make it a predicable crop that produces tubers eariler.
I've recently joined the Guild Of Oca Breeders to help to try out new varieties in the hope of finding some that crop earlier. I'll do a post about what they get up to another time, I just need to decide how much space I should dedicate to this crop in future - when it's good it's very very good, and when it's bad it's dreadful!
Who else has harvested their yams yet?