Our family is partial to anything yam – yam cake, yam rice, yam balls, yam soup … you name it.
And since it takes nine long months to wait for it to be ready for harvesting, the only solution is to plant more.
The yam is actually taro or Colocasia esculenta – but everyone here calls it yam, so yam it is.
It all started a few years ago when we tasted a very good yam – the much sought after powdery variety.
Today we have about a dozen bigger plants and scores of plantlets. We’ve shared these with family, neighbors and friends, and some have already started to harvest theirs too.
I gave some tiny plantlets to a friend recently. “Does the leaf on your plant have a purple spot in the centre?” she asked. “My aunt says that those are the best.”
The ones I gave her didn’t have any but then the leaves were too small.
And there it was; the critical purple spot which seemed to attest to its quality.
We’re now clearing space to grow more yam. It’s so easy to grow and hardy needs any care.
Stick it in, give it some composting material every now and then, and you get to enjoy a lovely yam a few months down the road.
There is something odd about our yam though; the tubers form above the level of the ground! My first thought was that the soil needed loosening. So I dug it.
I’ve been told that the leaves are edible too; as if I needed another excuse to start more yam plants.
Care and propagation: partial to full sun; garden soil and compost; water generously. Propagate using a yam corm, plantlet or the head of a yam