Monday, 19 November 2012

The Joy of Veg

The day has arrived when some of my new plants have come up with the goods!  Oh Frabjus day.
First up the Yacon; the frost had previously taken out the leaves, so I figured that its useful days of growing were over for this season.... Time to have a look under the ground.  I was expecting one or two tubers, but what I got was five decent sized ones.  Now I believe these things can grow to be huge so I might look back at these and think they are rather tame, but for now I am quite pleased with five hens egg sized tubers.
The plant had only been in my garden for one and a half months, the root structure was still pot shapes and the stem only reached about one meter.  Next year with a full run at the growing season the results may be bigger and better.
I had to look up how to harvest Yacon on line to make sure I would not kill it.  It turns out that the round tubery things are the bounty and the ones that look like Jerusalem artichokes are the bit that propagate next year.  you have to keep the crown, as a plant after harvesting.  It is now in a bucket in my porch to keep it frost free.
But what of the flavor? They are sweet, and crunchy with a light texture.  Rather delightful! The texture is quite unexpected for a root vegetable, more like an apple than a root vegetable.  This did lead me to wonder what the french would call it, as 'apple of the ground' is already taken.  I can only assume they would call it a Yacon.  But maybe their name for potato will need revising.
Next up the Oca; less of a run away success, but only in quantity.  Like the Yacon, it was still growing in the shape of its old pot.  It had grown a few tubers.  Some of which the slugs had nibbled.  Unlike the Yacon the eaty bit of the Oca is also the growy bit for next year, so some restraint is needed.  But I had to have a nibble on one.  It was like a raw potato in texture with a slightly sour acidic citrus flavor.  Apparently the acidic flavor mellows after a couple of days in the sun, but I am not going to eat any more to find out as the rest are going to be seed for next year.

Last and by a long way, not least, the Chilean Guava;  When I bought the plant it had two berries on it.  Having read that they look ready long before they are, I didn't want to risk picking them too early.  As the leaves are falling off of the trees, I figured they will not be getting any riper, so I gave it a go.  Wow I can see what Queen Victoria was on about!  They are amazing.  The most obvious thing they taste like is strawberries, but there is something more that I could not quite put my finger on.  It looks like that other flavor will have to wait until next year.  Lets hope it produced more berries next year.

1 comment: