Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Cassava is a very useful  starchy vegetable.

I planted some a couple of years back and was mightily impressed with its hedging attributes.

Just stick a stem in the ground and Voila!

I hadn't harvested much for food as I had previously roasted it after peeling, and I found the taste a bit bland.

But if you search 'Yuca' you'll get exposed to the rich Lain American and West African tradition of Cassava preparation.

[Don't look for 'Yucca' as that will give you the spindly landscape plant.]

Since  I just dug up my main clump of Cassava I'm keen to explore Yuca cuisine.

[Image above not of my plants.]

I do know, however, that Cassava makes a useful garden plant for hedging -- as a wind break or barrier --  as it will grow even in my sandy soil. And is semi shade tolerant.

Looks good  and is handy for mulch too.

It is certainly more generous in way of edible  'roots' than yam tubers.

You may be put off by the fact that Cassava is poisonous if eaten raw.

No probs; just cook it. But cook it right.

  • peeling the cassava root and slicing it
  • boiling, baking, roasting, or frying it until it is tender and very well-cooked
  • discarding any cooking water

Here's the simple kitchen DIY.

The roots I've harvested are going to be peeled, cut up and frozen for later use.

Around my area, Cassava is an Islander standard although Taro is favored over it...and most taro here comes from Fiji. The local West African shop has pallets of Cassava in store.

As a starchy staple, Cassava scrubs up well. This nutrition table is for the raw product.

Cassava is a perennial that can grow on poor soils. ... Once the tubers start to bulk, about eight months after planting, they can be left in the soil for several months before harvesting.I've surely left mine too long -- but we'll see when we get to eat them.

Propagation is just too easy. So is digging up.

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GrowVetiver

Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.


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