It’s not often I buy things from the produce section of the supermarket, and usually for very good reason. The other day there were some nicely packaged carrots – hinting at being gourmet, all scrubbed clean and presented beautifully. The thing is they were all skinny and there wasn’t much to them. I’ve thinned better ones out of my carrot row before and they wanted $6 for them! I was gobsmacked! Normal carrots are $1.29 a kilo and yet they wanted $6 for 250g of “baby” carrots – with their tops on – so you are probably looking at an edible content of about 180g if you are lucky! Carrots are easy to grow and thinning’s (or baby carrots) should only take about 6 – 8 weeks to grow and if you sow carrots regularly to ensure a continuous supply then you should always have “baby” carrots and there would be no need to pay $24 a kilo for them.
But that wasn’t what caught my eye as passed through the produce section – well not in a good way. The exciting thing that jumped off the shelf and into my trolley without hesitation was yams (Oxalis tuberosa). Its yam season and they had some big fat ones. They were at a good price too, but I would have bought them anyway. The kids don’t like them much, but that is probably because we nicknamed them “old man’s toes” but that’s ok – all the more for me!
When we got home, they got unpacked with the rest of the groceries and nearly ended up in the fridge until I intervened. These babies aren’t for eating – not today. So they have been put in a light, warm dry place in my craft room so they can start to sprout and then I will plant them!
I’ve grown them before but, I put them in with my spuds and dug them up within a year. I was really disappointed with my crop as the yams were the size of popcorn and then the ones I missed kept popping up for years after. So this time I am going to give them a permanent home in their own raised bed beside the Jerusalem artichokes and give them a couple of years to get going and then only harvest what I need in mid-winter. Hopefully this strategy will work.
Come again soon – Hubby the Un-Gardener has another bed to dig!
Sarah the Gardener : o )