Apologies in advance: this post contains some of the most boring photos ever. :)
I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to harvest dahlia tubers and eat them after the frost. I also may have mentioned at some point in the past that we were growing yacon at the demo garden. Here it is:
If this plant had been given a slightly longer growing season, it might have flowered, but yacon does not produce viable pollen or seeds (it must have, once, but has now been cultivated into a non-seeding type) and so must be propagated by dividing of the root crown. (Plants don't grow from the tubers.) I was given this crown by one of our MGs last year, stored it in a cool room over the winter buried in peat moss, and planted it out in May when it had sprouted.
They are easily cleaned with a scrubbing brush, and don't have to be peeled. They can be cooked, but for my first time eating yacon I wanted to try it raw - and loved it! Crisp like a water chestnut, slightly sweet and FULL of water: very refreshing.
For more about growing and eating yacon (you just knew I'd have a William Woys Weaver article, didn't you?) click here and for storage information here.
Edited to add: here's a timely post on the topic from our MG friends in Franklin County PA. With a shout-back to us, how nice!
Here's the article I cited last time for growing and serving information.
My advice? If you can get hold of a yacon crown and have a little space (the plants get 3-4 feet tall), try it, especially if you like crisp, sweet, water explosions in your salad. If you already grow dahlias and don't want to store the tubers, or have one with flowers you don't like, then eat those tubers too. I think next year's flowers may be a better bet, though.