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Yacon – The Uses are Many and Varied [HD video - Harvesting]

About 8 months ago I noticed an interesting looking plant with large furry leaves that had started growing in our garden. It had obviously been planted before we moved in and lay dormant until conditions were just right for it to burst forth from the ground.

The Yacón is still an unfamiliar food plant to many gardeners, but its popularity is rapidly increasing due to it being quite hardy, adaptable to a variety of soils and climates and with a unique flavour.

This is all from 1 plant!

The Yacón is yet another one of South America’s gifts to the food world. It is a root crop that has an incredibly sweet and crispy tuber that can be eaten raw or be prepared in a multitude of ways. In a sub-tropical climate like ours, we have a long growing season and it can be considered to be a perennial. When we harvested our Yacón, the leaves had started to die off. We made this short video to show you the difference between the edible tubers and the parts of the root that can be divided and replanted to make more Yacon plants!

I couldn’t resist peeling it straight away and tasting it for the first time. It was exactly how it had been described from internet searches I had done – juicy, with a delicate crunch, a sort of ‘underground pear or apple’.

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Growing Healthy Soils

Challenging your Knowledge on Creating Fertile Soils…

Healthy soils are loaded with microorganisms such as bacterias and fungi that consume organic matter and produce readily available nutrients to feed plants. To grow healthy plants it is vital to create a healthy, diverse and alive soil ecosystem.

Soil bacteria and fungi under a microscope. Image: Soil Foodweb Institute

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Gourmet Farmer – A new series on SBS ONE

Matthew Evans is a chef turned food critic who has moved from the big city to a small farmlet in Tasmania where he is discovering first hand what it takes to produce fresh and healthy local meat and produce. Learn about where the very best food comes from and what it takes to become a farmer as Matthew raises pigs and sheep, attempts to milk his cow and grows his own vegies whilst trying to make a living from it.

 

Gourmet Farmer‘ is on SBS One on Thursdays at 7.30pm

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Make an Easy Jar Sprouter & Start Sprouting Sprouts! [VIDEO]

There is no excuse for you to not start growing your own food. Even an apartment dweller or yachty can enjoy fresh nutritious sprouts without the use of land or soil.


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How to Make Origami Newspaper Seedling Pots

Loofah seedlings in newspaper pots ready to plant out 'pots 'n' all'

These seedling pots require no staples, glue, tape or origami skills. Recycle your old newspapers and get your seeds off to a good start in these pots that can be put into the ground with the young seedlings therefore minimising root disturbance. The newspaper breaks down over time and the plants roots will grow through the newspaper. Read More & Comment →

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The Summit Organics Farmwalk

Summit Organics Farm and Border Ranges backdrop. Photo: Peter Bracher

At Summit Organics, farmers Rod and Tania Bruin use no chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers and still manage to grow quality fruit and vegetables on a commercial scale. Just how does a certified organic commercial farm work? For Greenies went along to one of their ‘Farmwalks’ in May 2010 and learnt about the process from seedling to harvesting, weeding without herbicides, the importance of compost and energy efficient irrigation. The day was topped off with a beautiful meal made by Russel Scott in his self-sufficient food caravan comprised entirely of Summit Organics fresh salad greens and locally produced vegetarian ingredients.

Check out Summit Organics Facebook Page for upcoming Farmwalk events!

Here is the For Greenies video summarising the day…

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