30th October - Jack Frost is sharpening his long, bony fingers now!! Days are still warm for the end of October, but the clear skies mean low temperatures at night, with the first frost of the season whitening the rooves and grass this
morning. Not sure for how much longer we shall be cutting dahlias, so am sharing a picure of the ones picked yesterday, with some of the cosmos stiill flowering their socks off.
The bubble plastic insulation is up in the greenhouse and the more
tender plants such as half hardy succulents are under cover already. The greenhouse will gradually fill up as the pelargoniums are cut back and potted up, and spider plants and so on moved inside for the Winter. At the plot the Yacon leaves caught the frost
last night, so these huge pots are now in the safety of the polytunnel, which might give them another week or two of growth.
That seems a good place to begin Harvest Monday, with a real first for
us, Yacon tubers. With the leaves affected by the cold, I decided to find out if there were in fact any decent tubers in the pots in the first place, before lugging them across from #146 to the tunnel on
#145. Much to my amazement, there were 3kg of tubers in the pot I tipped out!! Best to try them before going any further, so a small one was duly peeled and sliced... a bit like a juicy cross between a mooli and a pear in flavour but less granular than a pear.
Cautious not to eat too much at once though, as the sugar contained in the tubers ... inulin... is the one found in Jerusalem Artichokes, which can have an unfortunate "windy" effect in some people, although it is a beneficial prebiotic and increases the absorption
of maganesium and calcium too.
The consistency of the tubers is similar to water chestnuts, so slices will be joining other veggies in tomorrow's stir fry. With a further four pots giving potentially 12 kg more tubers, we shall need to be reasonably
imaginative about how we use them. Boiling down for syrup will have to wait for now though
Yacon produces two types of tubers: the lareg storage tubers, which are the ones to eat, and the smaller ones with new growth buds on them. The top section under
the ground has these buds, and so I have replanted this part in a 5ins pot to overwinter in the greenhouse at home. You can see it, with trimmed stems attached, to the right in the photo.