Roots & Tubers


Sweet Potato

The tropical American vine, sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is in the botanical family Convolvulaceae.  Despite its name it is not actually a potato but a swollen underground root.

Think of a plant that has a high food value, is easily grown, matures quickly, produces a lot of food for the planting space used, has good keeping qualities, and tastes nice. It sounds too good to be true. Yet the sweet potato has all of these qualities.

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Yacón

Yacon is an underused root crop from the Andean region of South America and is a plant with sweet tasting tuberous roots, it is sometimes referred to as “pear of the earth”. As a crop it is known to have been cultivated and consumed since pre Inca times. The roots contain a form of sugar, fructooliogosaccharides (known as FOS) which has a very low caloric value and very beneficial to the health of the human intestinal tract. Roots are best eaten raw and the rather bitter skin taken off by peeling, similar to sweet potato or potato.

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Oca

The oca or oka is a perennial plant grown in the central and southern Andes for its starchy edible tuber, used as a root vegetable. Introduced to New Zealand as early as 1860, it has become popular in that country under the name New Zealand yam and is now a common table vegetable.

The oca is one of the important staple crops of the Andean highlands, second only to the potato.

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