Posted by: cosmicgarden | March 4, 2009

Seeds of Change | Yacon and Oca

I am trying some of both of these this year from Seeds of Change. I guess this means I am an “intrepid” gardener?  I was curious, so I splurged.  I had been lusting after these for a couple years now.  I can’t wait to see how they do in NW Montana!


Oca Certified Organic Oca Tubers

Native to the Andean region of South America, this colorful and nutritious tuber has been cultivated as a staple food for centuries, probably millennia, dating back at least to the Incan Empire. Almost entirely unknown in North America, oca holds the potential to be a significant food crop throughout the world, exhibiting tolerance to drought and a wide range of soils, while containing similar nutritional value to potatoes. Crisp and sweet or sour when eaten raw, steaming brings out a distinctive tartness with raw nutty overtones. While much is to be learned about its cultivation across a wide range of bioregions, we are happy to offer this for the first time for intrepid gardeners. Please share your experiences with us as we develop this exciting new crop.


Yacon Certified Organic Yacon Seedlings & Crowns

Yacon, a staple of Andean peoples for centuries, is rarely seen in the North. Unique tubers are delightfully sweet and crunchy, reminiscent of jicama or water chestnut. A majestic relative of the sunflower and dahlia families, the plant itself is a star in the garden. Yacon has fuzzy broad leaves that are resistant to most pests and produces 1 in. bright orange flowers in 4-5 months. The tubers are excellent raw, shredded into a salad, or lightly steamed or sautéed. Yacon grows vigorously wherever sunflowers thrive. An early sellout every year, we’re pleased to continue offering this fascinating cultivar.

We are also now offering a more economical way of growing yacon. In addition to seedlings, you can order a reproductive crown piece weighing approximately 1 lb. that produces 6-12 new yacon plants. Place the crown pieces in a pot about 8-10 weeks before your last spring frost, and transplant out when possibility of frost has passed. Detailed instructions provided.

Growing Information One seedling yields a plant with up to 15 lbs. of tubers surrounding enough crown material for 5 or more new plants. See eNewsletter 40 for Scott Vlaun’s article on yacon, “Like Nothing You’ve Ever Grown or (or Tasted)!”

Seeds of Change


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