A community garden needs one special ingredient to make it great – community! Everybody in the neighbourhood has something valuable to contribute to this garden and the CottonTree Community Garden is encouraging all local community members to be a part of it. Come to one of our meetings (held monthly on the third Wednesday of every month, become a friend of the garden and share your ideas or skills, nominate yourself for a committee position, propagate seedlings – there are lots of ways you can get involved:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What is Yukon?

 The Peruvian ground apple (Yukon)

This plant oddly enough calls Ecuador and Columbia its home. In ideal conditions the plants reaches 2 metres high. It’s best to harvest, after flowering, when the plant has completely died down. But you can dig around the base and pull out small tubers at any time. There are two types of tubers – large round ones that look like a potato – which are the best to eat. The other type is the Yukon – the longer dark skinny ones - which are the propagules or what you plant. They do best in cultivated soil, planted at least 50 centimetres apart, with regular watering. But because they are a root crop, don’t use grey water. We’ve planted them in a raised vegie bed, so they get a combination of rain water and mains water, via a drip irrigation system. As an added bonus, the leaves are high in protein and make great chook fodder. The Peruvian ground apple tastes like a cross between sugar cane, apple and water chestnut.
From Gardening Australia


...Once they had flowered I waited until late May before digging the tubers up. A couple of plants produced huge tubers which hung off the reddish rhizomes like stuck-on appendages. On first taste (five minutes after harvest) they had a great texture, kind of refreshing and crisp, but no flavour whatsoever! I then gave the tubers the recommended treatment of sticking them on a sunny window sill for a few days until they go wrinkly and this did the trick - a mildly sweet, Nashi pear taste and similar texture was the result. Since then I have cooked them too and in one mixed bake with other tubers the Yacon was delicious, absorbing flavours from other ingredients but staying quite crisp.

You can find Yukon growing in the fence garden near the keyhole garden the stems are about 1 metre high and are very green big green leaves.
The leaves are also very good to put in the compost.

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