Friday, 16 May 2008

I yam what I yam, and what I yam is Oxalis Tuberosa!


Hmmm, hmmm - I've been out bandicooting my favourite vegetable, and, as of last years harvest, Trev's too. Yams, are not yams at all, but a form of oxalis, while they don't spread like the dreaded weed, they do colonise areas much like potatoes, as you can never quite remove all of the little bulbs. But who'd want to when you can eat them. Roasted is best, traditionally eaten in NZ with roast lamb, but I'm happy to eat them straight out of the pan. They taste like a very light textured potato, but they're sweeter and have an unusual after taste which has been described as slightly acid, but not sure I'd agree. They almost caramelise in the pan, sorry, have to wipe the drool from the keyboard. I describe them as looking a bit like an old mans big toe, that's a tad less flavoursome thought!


I'm seriously thinking about growing a commercial crop of them, I know I already have a market with every yam starved kiwi in Australia, have to convince all those Aussies out there too.

I found them difficult, no, impossible to grow in QLD, they cooked in the ground. Here they flourish, despite being frost sensitive and taking six months till ready to harvest they seem to have handled the light singe around the edge of late, and are still powering away.

16 comments:

Jo said...

great title - hahaha! The yams sound interesting - might(?) have to try them... hmmmmmm.

Daisy said...

You have been tagged! Please check out my blog! Cheers.
I too have the oxalis blubs and have no idea what to do with them. A novelty purchase from one of the seed cataloges!

Anonymous said...

hi linda

have been slowly reading your book over a couple of years (busy having babies)and becoming more and more inspired. i just wish we were not renting or in drought (live in southern mallee victoria)so i could get a garden established in some sort of fashion but knowing one day i will move, it kind of slows my inspiration down i will do it one day how ever.

just wondering if you had ever considered doing a recipe book of sorts from the kitchen/garden/preserves/bathroom/laundry/etc etc i know it would be huge but it would help someone like myself out muchly any way just and idea keep up the good work
sharon smith
chefshearer@hotmail.com

Linda said...

Last night we had a white frost and this morning my plants are slumped and soggy. When the sun has warmed things up a bit (still minus 1 out there) I'll pull them up and see what kind of a haul we get.

I bandicooted the other day, about 15 yams and Trev was so desperate for a feed he was prepared to pay $300 for the treat. Of course, all our money is pooled anyway, so it was all a bit of a joke.

Spent it and another $1400 on the next load of timber. Hope to update how the building site is going in the next day or so.

daharja said...

I just bought some to try for the first time. Can you grow the tubers that you cook with by just whacking them in the ground and, if so, how long do they take to spread?

BTW - I'm looking forward to a yammy dinner tonight, but will set some aside awaiting your reply re planting!

janey said...

Hi - I'm living in tropical North Queensland, and my husband grows what he calls "aerial yams". The plant is a vine, which grows prolifically in the heat (eg 30 cms in 2 days) and bears hard skinned waxy "yams" which cook like potatoes. The friend who gave him the vine says it came from New Guinea, and is not a true yam, but hey, it works for me!
PS: Loved your book, and I love reading about your life in Tassie.

Linda said...

Hi Daharja, Yes, just whack 'em in the ground. Wait till any chance of frost is pretty much past (they keep well in the fridge in a paperbag till they're ready to plant).
Hi Daisy,
I checked out your blog ages back, it sidetracked me and I never came back to say that I had, I must be getting older, or it's the nature of the net, but I seem to be distracted very easily. Great site by the way.
Hi Anonymous from Mallee,
Even a small garden in a rental property is good, in three or four months you'll be eating food out of it, and if you don't get to eat it hopefully someone else will - there's a great quote, 'A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning
of human life when he plants shade trees under which he
knows full well he will never sit.'
- Elton Trueblood (1900-1994)
Which I love, so maybe you should plant them anyway?
A book of recipes sometimes comes up as a possibility, not sure if I will ever get there though!

And Janey, I'd like to know more about the aerial yams, I had a book by Leonie Norrington about tropical food growing and I think it mentioned something similar I gave it to tropical friends when we moved down to tassie, didn't seem quite so appropriate here. Hope they taste good!

Linda

The Mumma said...

gee i haven't had yams since I was at home last(kiwi living in aussie)we only used to have them for xmas dinner..where about did you buy them from??
Cheers Sonia

Linda said...

Sorry, just spotted your comment. I bought them from Greenharvest in QLD via mail order Mumma, they're quite expensive, but make up for it in the long run.
www.greenharvest.com.au

I hope to sell them soon too, still working out the legalities of interstate posting.

Anonymous said...

they AREN'T real yams??? well i never... i love them, they are SO tasty and wonderful fried or roasted. living in nz we can buy them year-round but sometimes they are a bit pricey - but i never knew that they were oxalis! i actually quite like oxalis flowers so im going to try and grow some of these! (if i can bear not to eat them!)

Anonymous said...

Are you able to sell them yet? I am after some too. Greenharvest don't have any at present. Do you have any to sell?
Lettuceheart

Bruce said...

First time at your site. Just Been watching the ABC 29th June 2009 and there was a section of the program dedicated to several different varieties of Yams including the winged Yam. The whole show was exlnt and is available for download at abc.net.au/gardening
Meanwhilw I'm just busting to get hold of some tubers if anyone can help. bruce.miller@execs.com

Linda Cockburn said...

Hi Bruce,

It all depends on what state you're in, and I don't mean hungry or not. I'm happy to sell yams - have megaloads of them this year.

Linda

Jodi said...

Hi Linda

My parents had these growing in their garden when I was a kid here in Tassie....We can't get them anywhere now. Do you have any ideas where we can get the tubers here in Tasmania?? We can't get them from the mainland because of the quarrentine restrictions.

Mark said...

Aggggggggggggggh, have been searching everywhere. I grew some but they were all tiny.

Please contact me people if anyone has some to sell....................

Thanks.
Mark.

Mark said...

Aggggggggggggggh, have been searching everywhere. I grew some but they were all tiny.

Please contact me people if anyone has some to sell....................

Thanks.
Mark.