Hans Quistorff wrote:These are the figures I found for Yacon. 10 pounds per plant in our growing conditions according to supplier, Calorie calculators listed 54 calories for 100 grams and 90 calories for 1 ounce fresh root. It can be dried, juiced and reduced to syrup. I plan to eat it fresh over the winter liftin one plant each month so I went with the last figure for calculation. So that gives me 954 calories per pound times 40 pounds = 3616 per year for 4 plants. The 2 1 pound tubers that I ate over the last 2 weeks averaged about 2 ounces per serving eaten like a sliced apple. use period would be about 4 months so divided by 3 for the year. I hope that helps.
planting considerations: Can be started by planting corm in one gallon container and transplanted after last frost to full sun to 3 to 4 square foot area of deeply turned well drained soil. Needs a lot of water during heat of summer so possibly a plant for a grey water situation,
Mathew Trotter wrote:And that's why sweet potatoes aren't a great crop here. We can have 40-50 degree temperature swings between day and night because we're between the mountains and the ocean, so even if we hit triple digit temperatures during the day it's a rare thing for our lows to be above 60. Our lows hold pretty stably in the mid-50s, regardless of daytime temps, so heat loving crops just flounder here.
The sweet potato I brought in had a healthy looking root system, in my estimation, just not good eating size. If it has enough energy to sprout again, the plan was to take cuttings from that to plant a bed in the ground. If it doesn't, I can always start another batch of slips. We don't have heat yet, other than small electric heaters to keep just the bedrooms warm at night, so I don't know if I can actually keep it warm enough for growing them out inside. It might be about 10 degrees warmer inside than outside, once you factor in the insulation, but that would put it at the mid-50s at best during the day, and not worth getting out from under the covers after about 7pm. I tolerate it marginally better than sweet potatoes would. 😂
jack vegas wrote:I stopped trying to grow all my calories years ago. I still grow potatoes and squash for variety, but not raw calories. They compliment a multitude of garden vegetables and berries that I grow for their cornucopia of nutrition and flavor. My "sustaining" calories are from stored grains and legumes. Wheat, barley, oats, corn, rice, pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, and lentils. I've laid in a supply of these staples adequate to provide all my calories for seven years and I top off what I use every year. In a pinch I could expand and grow more potatoes and squash as well as sow 1/2 an acre of oats, but its a lot of work and raw calories in the form of easily stored grains and legumes are still pretty cheap. Also, I'm getting older now and its very comforting to know that I can survive for many years with what is stored augmented by my simple garden.
My reason for posting is to pass along the article below that discusses calories from apples. The author makes a pretty good case that apples can out-produce grains, potatoes, you name it, when it comes to calories per acre. I have three apple trees and can attest that his numbers are reasonable. I eat them raw, bake them, dehydrate them, make apple sauce and apple butter, and give a lot away. I never really though about it, but those three trees provide enough fruit that their calories could sustain me for nearly 4 months a year, all by themselves. Low labor, perennial, versatile, and tasty. Something to think about.
Dianne Justeen wrote:
We garden in zone 5B and our summer night-time temps are usually mid-50's to low 60's except for an occasional heat wave which doesn't often last long. Our temperature swings are less than yours, usually about 30 degrees. No planting summer crops until Memorial Day and we often get one early frost in September, but if you can protect something through a night or two we're usually good until October. Most people around here don't bother with central air conditioning if that's any indication.
The last two years we grew bumper crops of sweet potatoes. They taste really good, most are medium size but a few were giants. We grew them from proprietary slips I bought that were bred for our region. Since we don't grow commercially and only for our home use, I didn't feel guilty starting slips from my stored sweets the second year and probably will do so again. Especially since, in 2020, the company we bought them from cancelled much of my order that I placed that January due to COVID. We grew lots of "regular" potatoes of several varieties and now in mid-April the sweets are the hands-down winner for storage. Although that may be due to the fact that we don't yet have a root cellar for the potatoes. We store the sweets packed in a cardboard box with dry straw in a basement laundry room that's cool but not cold and not overly damp for a basement in the northeastern U.S.
So if you like sweet potatoes as much as we do, I'd encourage you to try different varieties. You may well hit on a favorite that grows well and produces enough in your area to make it worthwhile. And adding another option to your diet will certainly be a good thing if you're trying to grow most of your own calories.
Mathew Trotter wrote:
It's definitely something I'm planning to experiment with this year. Most of the successes I've seen here revolve around growing on black plastic, but that's not really a viable solution for me. Since sweet potatoes grow so readily from cuttings I'm planning to just stick as many in the ground as I possibly can. That way, as long as there is a yield, and even if that yield is small, I can at least have a decent crop just because of the sheer number of plants I have. I figure it's a good ground cover that'll choke out the undesirable invasives, if nothing else.
Mathew Trotter wrote:what do you grow when you have no income (which has been my case since March, and which I expect to continue through the next year)?