NZ "Yams"

A forum for problem solving and exchanging ideas and knowledge related to the edible garden. Now includes sub-forum for sharing recipes and other ideas for using produce.

Moderators: Forum_mod, Pam, jack, Sam, Luzy

NZ "Yams"

Postby Denise » Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:16 pm

In NZ they have a vege they call yam, which is different from the sweet potato type of yam. It's a small (10-15 cm long) thin tuber with red skin and yellow/cream flesh, kind of bumpy. Does anyone know what they're called in Australia, and if they're available anywhere??
User avatar
Denise
Head Gardener
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Darling Downs, Qld

Postby kitkat » Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:59 pm

Hi Denise,I think what you are talking about is the 'Kumara'...it is supposed to be easier for us "southerners' to go in cooler climes than the hotter climate sweet potato or Yam.. Good luck with your search.
User avatar
kitkat
Head Curator
 
Posts: 831
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:54 pm
Location: South Western Victoria

Postby Denise » Sun Oct 02, 2005 12:46 pm

Hi, thanks for your reply, but what I'm talking about isn't kumera - these yams are much smaller than kumera, and have a thin red skin that you don't peel off.
User avatar
Denise
Head Gardener
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Darling Downs, Qld

further info

Postby Denise » Sat Oct 29, 2005 1:42 pm

I just found this on an NZ horticulture site - does it ring any bells with anyone under the name "oca"???

Oca or "Yam" (Oxalis tuberosa Mol., Oxalidaceae)
The oca (or yam as it is called in New Zealand) is a small, red, waxy, crinkled tuber was probably a staple food item of the Andean Indians (Veitmeyer 1991). They are grown on a very small scale in a localized area in New Zealand and sold only on the local market. The tubers have a tangy, acid nutty flavor and are eaten mainly with roast dinners. The original planting material probably came from Chile to New Zealand in the late 1800s with immigrants. Oca does not seem to be widely grown outside of South American countries and so appears to qualify as "one of the lost crops of the Incas" (Veitmeyer 1991).
User avatar
Denise
Head Gardener
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Darling Downs, Qld

Postby Kerrie » Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:25 pm

Sounds very interesting, I'd be curious to cultivate it for home use, but it sounds like it might be just a little hard to get hold of! Does anyone know of an Australian supplier?

I've just done a bit of a websearch on them, can't find a current supplier - the only one I found is out of stock until 2006! Apparently Oca don't like temperatures of above 28 degrees, though, so you might only get small crops in Qld.

Kerrie
User avatar
Kerrie
Curator
 
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:51 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby Kerrie » Sat Oct 29, 2005 9:50 pm

You've sparked my interest, so here's some more info.
Oca seems to be known by two names here, Oxalis Crenata or Oxalis Tuberosa. It's not widely available in Australia, but if you go to the markets in Autumn you should be able to get some for planting. One person said he got some at Victoria Market at $17-$22 per kilo and used them as seed.

Greenharvest has them online, but is out of stock until next year.
I'm going to be keeping an eye out for them!

Kerrie
User avatar
Kerrie
Curator
 
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:51 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby Pam » Sun Oct 30, 2005 5:04 am

I certainly wouldn't be able to grow them here. Apart from the temps not being low enough, almost all of the weedy oxalis that was here earlier in the year has succumbed to rust. First time ever I haven't been disappointed to find rust in the garden. :lol:

It's the only plant that seems to be affected - I find it amazing that there are so many rusts that seem to be plant-specific.
User avatar
Pam
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 14418
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 1:06 pm
Location: Bundaberg, Qld

Postby Denise » Sun Oct 30, 2005 8:14 pm

Oh dear, looks like another thing I won't be able to grow here. :( Sigh. Blast this Qld climate!

If I can get my hands on some, I'd still be tempted to give it a go, but it doesn't sound very hopeful for this climate.

For any of you southerners - I highly reccommend them - delicious roasted or steamed. I even tried the dried ones when I was on holiday in South America - looked and smelt a bit disgusting, but tasted good!
User avatar
Denise
Head Gardener
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Darling Downs, Qld

Postby kitkat » Tue Nov 01, 2005 7:17 pm

Denise, Have you tried a yucon? I know they grow up your way.They too are similar in appearance to the NZ yam according to the description but can be eaten both raw and cooked.My Permaculture book says they taste a bit like an apple ginger cross! I think Eden have them and also maybe Diggers.
User avatar
kitkat
Head Curator
 
Posts: 831
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:54 pm
Location: South Western Victoria

Postby Denise » Tue Nov 01, 2005 7:40 pm

I've never even heard of a yucon :o I'll look into it. Thanks for the suggestion.
Gardening here sure is a whole new ball-game!
User avatar
Denise
Head Gardener
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Darling Downs, Qld


Return to Fruit and Produce

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests