This spring I received a box full of goodness from a woman I met last fall at a Slow Business festival. Inside, much to my delight and surprise, were seeds for fusen and goya, along with Jerusalem Artichoke bulbs and yacon seedlings. Because of her kindness our green curtain was born, Jersulaem Artichoke grow on the balcony, and yacon stand in the garden. (I also had a fair amount of advice from Radix and a handful of other tuber fans in the blogosphere to help me get them happily settled.)
Yacon, a tuber from South America, is increasing in popularity here in Japan. With a flavor and texture reminiscent of apples, it is an excellent addition to soup, salad, or a dish of sauteed vegetables. Planted in the west wall bed, they stand about three feet tall. (This photograph was taken in August, and they are taller and more lush now.) I've kept them well mulched with grassy weeds to help ease them through the unseemly heat of summer. Troubled a bit by the heat and drought, and a marauding bunch of katydids desperate for snacks, they're looking quite happy during these slightly cooler days. No flowers yet, but perhaps they are still to come. I imagine harvest will be sometime in the next couple months, and it is then that I hope to save some back for planting next year, too.