Monday, October 13, 2014

Taro: A Root Crop Worth Testing in Florida

I've been fiddling around for the last few years with various root crops for Florida.

Thus far, we've tested the following:

Jerusalem Artichokes: Generally not worth growing. Roots tend to rot.

Yacon: Worth growing. Easy but roots are not calorie-rich.

Malanga: Yields low except in greywater basin. More testing needed.

Cassava: Definitely worth growing. Easy and moderately productive.

Sweet Potatoes: Definitely worth growing. Very productive.

Boniato: Failed to set many useable roots.

White Potatoes: Generally poor yields. Succumbs to fire ants.

Ginger: Easy to grow. Yields moderate.

Turnips: Easy to grow. Very good yields.

Water chestnuts: Easy to grow. Moderate yields.

Now, thanks to my friend Mart, I also have some taro plants I'm testing out.

Taro, like malanga, is a type of edible "elephant ear." They like moist or swampy conditions and have few if any pest problems.

Along with giving me plants, Mart has also hooked me up with a stream of information regarding the cultivation of this potential staple for Florida - like this informative video:

Anyone here have any luck growing taro? What have been your experiences?

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At October 13, 2014 at 7:40 PM , Anonymous seagypsy said...

Jerusalum artichokes not worth it? I had thought it was one of the staples and you had to worry about it taking over. Is this your more recent experience?

At October 13, 2014 at 7:53 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

Here's the deal: I grew it in Tennessee and it was amazing. Very productive and almost no work. Got buckets of tubers. I wrote about that on The Prepper Project and highly recommend it as a crop for any place with colder winters. Here in Florida it's been disappointing. I keep planting it every year but haven't had near the luck. Maybe I'll find a better cultivar eventually. I've got some in the food forest that are blooming right now. If I dig this type in the winter and it's good, I'll rethink it.

At October 14, 2014 at 1:12 AM , Blogger Sheila O said...

Funnily enough, I bought a taro corm at the asian market last year, planted it, it grew, then I forgot about it. It came back on its own this year, and I've been keeping an eye on it and when it starts to fade, I'll (try to remember to) dig it up and see what's what. My sunchokes are no longer flowering (wilting in fact) so I'm going to dig one of them up this weekend. If the taro is successful, I know where to buy a bunch! I'll be sure to post the results on my blog!

At October 18, 2014 at 2:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I planted a few eddoes in the spring and recently harvested the first plant. About 2 lbs of tubers from a relatively small plant in a shady area. It was the surprise success of the year.

At October 18, 2014 at 5:15 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

Hey - alright. Thank you for the report.

At October 18, 2014 at 5:16 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

I would wait a little longer on the Jerusalem artichokes. Let them get good and dead. Good luck with the taro!


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