Backyard Aquaponics

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Author:  Rod [ May 20th, '07, 19:35 ]
Post subject:  Yacon

Does anyone know where I can get yacon tubers to grow from? I am currently in Bremer Bay but will be driving to Perth Tue 29th May so anywhere from the south coast to Perth is OK.


Author:  Delgrade [ May 20th, '07, 19:40 ]
Post subject: 

id love to help but i dont even know what Yacon is

Author:  RupertofOZ [ May 20th, '07, 19:41 ]
Post subject: 

Hi Rod.... welcome to the forum.....

'Scuse my ignorance.... but what are "yacon" tubers..... something like sweet potatos or yams????

Author:  RupertofOZ [ May 20th, '07, 19:45 ]
Post subject: 

Hummm.... googled..... seems like it's some sort of low-cal sweet snack food..... Peruvian plant extract/slice ....

Wonder if this a spam???

Apparantly is grown as a commercial crop in NZ....

could be genuine.....

Rod... please tell us more about yourself and your interest in "yacon"

Author:  RupertofOZ [ May 20th, '07, 20:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: Yacon

further googling lead me to article about growing in Taranaki NZ.... home provence....

9.1 Yacon (Polymnia sonchifolia)

9.1.1 Background

Yacon is a South American plant of the sunflower family which produces edible tubers that can be eaten raw or cooked. The plant has been in New Zealand for many years and the interest is now in the specific carbohydrates which occur in tubers.

The carbohydrates are fructo-oligosaccharides which are most suitable for use as prebiotic nutraceuticals to manipulate the hindgut microflora from undesirable species to healthy species in intensive livestock and poultry rearing and lessen or replace the use of antibiotics.

The use of prebiotic feed formulations for this purpose is not yet practised in New Zealand but has been proven experimentally overseas.

9.1.2 Market situation

The development of an industry growing and processing yacon is dependent on clinical trials being undertaken in New Zealand to prove the effectiveness of the prebiotic method of disease control.

The carbohydrates in yacon may also have a place as a sweetener in beverages but this use is also as yet underdeveloped.

9.1.3 Agronomic requirements

Yacon grows up to 2 m tall as a herbaceous perennial. The crowns are planted in mid spring with tubers forming in autumn and being ready to harvest in winter. The tubers are attached to the crown of the plant, and when lifting the crowns the tubers need to be broken off.

In trial programmes this has been undertaken by hand and mechanisation of this process needs to be developed. The crowns also need to be saved as replanting stock. With the present state of knowledge, labour input is high.

The crop is underdeveloped agronomically and without effective weed control herbicides. The crop is underdeveloped agronomically and without effective weed control herbicides.

9.1.4 Taranaki's potential advantage

Yacon would grow well in the warm moist conditions of Taranaki. However, at the present time comparatively little is known about the agronomy of the crop and environmental influences on its growth and quality.

9.1.5 Postharvest and transport

Yacon tubers need to be washed after lifting and then dried. Cool storage of fresh tubers is necessary to prevent sugar breakdown. Once dried, the product would need to be milled to enable it to be used in feed formulations.

9.1.6 Future possibilities

The use of prebiotics in intensive livestock production in New Zealand is unsubstantiated and not practised. If clinical trials provide a positive direction for their use, then the production of yacon could develop into a significant industry. The prebiotic approach to livestock production could also increase in significance under an 'organic' farming umbrella.

Author:  earthbound [ May 20th, '07, 20:51 ]
Post subject: 

Yacon is an amazing plant, I've been growing them for a few years now, every season I break them up and hand out tubers to different people so they can grow them as well.. One of those plants that needs very little in the way of maintenance and the tubers last for up to 12 months in the soil.. I know this because I dug some up that I'd missed from the year before and they were still crispy and juicy..

The texture and flavour is hard to describe,,, They are a bit like a cross between an apple, a potato and a cucumber, very crisp, juicy and sweet and can be eaten raw and it's quite refreshing...

They have two types of tuber, one knarled type like a Jerusalem artichoke at the base of the stem, these are for propogation. Then under these burried a little deeper are the storage tibers that look a little like sweet potato..

Pics below are the harvest of one plant.. And one fairly hard to see plant in the background...

Rod, I'll have a look and see if I have any tubers left...

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File comment: It's a bit hard to see it, but at the back of the photo where the upright coppers log is, and reo up against the fence.. Thats the plant directly in front, multiple robust stems with large furry heart shape leaves up the stem..
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Author:  aquamad [ May 20th, '07, 21:20 ]
Post subject: 

I have been looking around Cairns for them but you just cant get them here :(
Looks like I will have to buy it from here: ... (look for 'SWEET ROOT - Yacon (Polymnia sonchifolia) OGA' )

Author:  earthbound [ May 20th, '07, 21:25 ]
Post subject: 

Hold off till I go and have a dig AM.....

Author:  aquamad [ May 20th, '07, 21:28 ]
Post subject: 

:D okay, you twisted my arm

Author:  earthbound [ May 20th, '07, 21:30 ]
Post subject: 

You have a long arm........ :shock: Damn I hope I have some left..... :?

Author:  aquamad [ May 20th, '07, 21:35 ]
Post subject: 

It would be nice to get them from you - but no hard feeling if you dont have any left to share out (remember to keep for yourself!) - at least Green Patch Seeds carries them and I should be able to buy them from there ($16 for 4 - I am assuming they are 4 of the "knarled type like a Jerusalem artichoke at the base of the stem' )

Author:  EllKayBee [ May 21st, '07, 08:47 ]
Post subject: 

Pics below are the harvest of one plant.. And one fairly hard to see plant in the background...

All I see in the background is the big toe skewered on the end of a fork prong :twisted:

Author:  Rod [ May 21st, '07, 19:08 ]
Post subject: 

WOW! What a response; I only joined this site yesterday - was surfing for yacon in WA.
Thanks Earthbound, I appreciate your efforts and if you have some available I would be extremely pleased.

RopertofOz, you want to know more about me well here it is in a nut-shell; Old bloke, past use-by date, married over 40 yrs, 2 sons, 4 grand-kids, love tinkering (pottering) in my shed. Worked in the graphics industry = photography through to digital print, now semi-retired.

Thanks once again for all the replies


Author:  Rod [ May 29th, '07, 09:25 ]
Post subject: 

G'day Earthbound,

Just wondering if you had a chance to check out your patch? There's no real hurry seeing as they don't have to be planted until spring (according to the blurb) and I'm in hospital Thu to have new shock absorbers installed in my knee and that'll curb my rampant gardening havit for a week or two.


Author:  earthbound [ May 29th, '07, 09:35 ]
Post subject: 

Ohh, sorry Rod, forgot all about it, I'll go and have a look now... Hope the new shockies work out well.. :)

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