In this, the third part of her series, Cathy Isom reviews some tips for when it’s time to harvest yams. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
Yams will grow through spring, summer, and fall before dying off in the winter. They’re in the ground for approximately eight months, so patience is a virtue.
When it’s time to harvest your bountiful crop, carefully dig at the base of the plant and follow the tubers. Try not to cut them, but if you do, use the ones you nick first. If you have loose, loamy soil, use a garden fork as you would when digging out potatoes. Yams can be buried quite a way down so be sure to turn your patch over thoroughly to get all the good Yams underneath.
Remove all of the dead top growth and leave all the small Yams that aren’t worth harvesting in the patch. When you turn the soil over just push the little guys under and add in more compost for next seasons food and you should end up with another ‘free’ crop of Yams.
Once you’ve got your yams in the kitchen don’t bother washing off the dirt. Store them in a cardboard box in a cool, dry area. Check them periodically for any that may be rotting or deteriorating.
Cook in the traditional holiday way or treat it as a white potato.
I’m Cathy Isom…