September 14, 2009

Yacon in my organic fruits garden

Yacon is known as the fruit tasting similar to apple and watermelon. It is crunchy and sweet - called the apple of earth. Originally yacon comes from Andes in Peru, where it is placed for sale together with other fruits, despite growing fully covered with soil. The sweet watermelon taste is hiding under the soil level in tubers, but not only tubers are very valuable. Tea made of leaves is known as prebiotic and antioxidant.

Yacon belongs to the group of edible plants called New World Crops, which were native to North and South America before 1942 and couldn’t be found anywhere else in the world.

I have received 2 pieces of roots with green/brown growing points in February from Patrick @BifurcatedCarrot (thanks Patrick). I planted them immediately in the pots and kept on the windowsill, because yacon can be planted outside after last frost.

This yacón (Smallanthus sonchifolius syn. Polymnia sonchifolia) after the first frost (in about one month) I will dig out and take it to the cellar. Then we will see whether yacon tastes more like watermelon or rather more like apple. Probably it could be eaten already right now, but it is advised to wait until first frost, when tubers become most tasty.

The greatest thing about yacon is that despite it sweetness it contains types of sugar which are less in calories and also heathy for diabetes.
You can slice it, dry and eat it as snack, make syrup and use it as healthy, low calorie sweetener or even candy.

PS. Bee rocks! Doesn't she resemble David Bowie? Just take one closer look - this orange hair....


chaiselongue said...

I haven't heard of the Yacon before - it sounds good. I'll be interested to hear about it after you've tasted it!

Patrick said...

I'm glad these grew for you! The pictures look great. The one I sent you has a brown colored root, and I have a new one this year with a red root. I'm not sure if there is any difference in taste, but if you're interested in trying another kind I can send growing tubers of this too.

Kat said...

I've seen Yacon for sale in catalogs and have wondered about the taste. I hope you'll update us when you try it.

Darla said...

Never heard of this. It's a beautiful addition to the garden for the David look a like!!

Jan said...

How interesting. I have never heard of this plant. Sure sounds good.

Always Growing

Patrick said...

Hello, I'm happy to hear your growing yacon in your own gardens. I'm travelin to Peru and want to either work with yacon farmers or bring seeds back and grow myself here... I'm wondering where you guys obtained your seeds or actual tubers and where are you successful growing yacon, what elevation, climate, time of year etc.

Patrick said...

Hello, I'm happy to see you all have been successfully growing yacon in your garden. I'm travelin to peru next week and want to either make a connection with yacon farmers or bring seeds back to grow them myself. I'm wondering where you guys obtained your seeds or living tubers and what kind of conditions/seasons/elevations are you successfully growing yacon. any type of information would be great!

Thanks so much,

Ewa said...

Hello Patrick,
I got my yacon from a friend in Holland, so I can't be of real help on where to buy them.
You will find more info on growing them at
Happy Christmas!