Check out these whoppers

Yams! Yummo!

Yams! Yummo!

It’s not often I buy things from the produce section of the supermarket, and usually for very good reason. The other day there were some nicely packaged carrots – hinting at being gourmet, all scrubbed clean and presented beautifully.  The thing is they were all skinny and there wasn’t much to them.  I’ve thinned better ones out of my carrot row before and they wanted $6 for them!  I was gobsmacked!  Normal carrots are $1.29 a kilo and yet they wanted $6 for 250g of “baby” carrots – with their tops on – so you are probably looking at an edible content of about 180g if you are lucky!  Carrots are easy to grow and thinning’s (or baby carrots) should only take about 6 – 8 weeks to grow and if you sow carrots regularly to ensure a continuous supply then you should always have “baby” carrots and there would be no need to pay $24 a kilo for them.

Carrots are easy to grow!

Carrots are easy to grow!

But that wasn’t what caught my eye as passed through the produce section – well not in a good way.  The exciting thing that jumped off the shelf and into my trolley without hesitation was yams (Oxalis tuberosa).  Its yam season and they had some big fat ones.  They were at a good price too, but I would have bought them anyway.  The kids don’t like them much, but that is probably because we nicknamed them “old man’s toes” but that’s ok – all the more for me!

Last time I planted them out several years ago.

Last time I planted them out several years ago.

When we got home, they got unpacked with the rest of the groceries and nearly ended up in the fridge until I intervened.  These babies aren’t for eating – not today.  So they have been put in a light, warm dry place in my craft room so they can start to sprout and then I will plant them!

They kept popping up like weeds for ages after!  The definitely need their own space

They kept popping up like weeds for ages after! The definitely need their own space

I’ve grown them before but, I put them in with my spuds and dug them up within a year.  I was really disappointed with my crop as the yams were the size of popcorn and then the ones I missed kept popping up for years after.  So this time I am going to give them a permanent home in their own raised bed beside the Jerusalem artichokes and give them a couple of years to get going and then only harvest what I need in mid-winter.  Hopefully this strategy will work.

Come again soon – Hubby the Un-Gardener has another bed to dig!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

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8 Comments on “Check out these whoppers

  1. Oh yams – one of my favourites. I picked up a bag at the supermarket last week and put it back when I saw the inflated price !!

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    • Hi Lynne. Yams seem to be one of those seasonal must haves, but they seem to have us over a barrel with the price. Hopefully I can solve this in the coming years with my own bountiful harvest.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. I just started harvesting my first crop of yams today! Although there are plenty of popcorn sized ones I’ve also got a good yield of decently-sized tubers (not as big as the commercial ones though). They may be on the small size, but what they lack in size they have made up for in number. 🙂

    Good luck for your future yams, and send me some of your luck for carrots, which do terribly in my garden!

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    • Hi There. Last time I grew yams and only harvested popcorn sized ones, I treated them like popcorn. I roasted them and we ate them while watching a movie. Sounds like you had an amazing harvest.
      I found the key to carrots is make the soil light and fluffy with no sticks, stones or lumps. (I go through the soil with my hands). Don’t add any compost or organic matter, but fertilize by mixing in general purpose fertiliser granules and blood and bone. Using this technique I have had the best carrots ever! Hope this helps.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. I don’t think Ive ever knowingly had a yam before. They are similar to sweet potatoes, is that right? Ive never been a fan of sweet potatoes, so I guess that has kept me away..

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    • Hi Heidi. These yams aren’t the normal sweet potato-like yams. They are tubers in the Oxalis family and apparently only us kiwis call them yams. I think they originally come from Peru and are actually called Oca. They are kind of sweet with a slight tang and are delicious roasted. They are a real seasonal treat here in New Zealand as they are only available for a short time. If you ever come across any – give them a try. They are amazing.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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