Our Blog

0
Question

Hi Rishi,

Please advise where to buy organic Yam so that I can plant them for following reasons:
1) root and leaf to eat
2) ground covering
3) easy to grow

– Michelle

Answer

Hi Michelle,

For growing sweet potato/yam at home all you need is any organic root. You can just plant the whole root in the ground. We buy ours at Vitamin City in San Dimas, but you can also try Sprouts, Whole Foods, or your local natural foods store. Non-organic sweet potato/yam is sprayed with a chemical to prevent sprouting so its important to buy organic.

Also, I’ll take this time to point out the difference between sweet potato and “true” yam. All the yams that are available at American markets are actually just sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batata). Leaves of these plants are edible along with the tubers.

“True” yams (or Chinese/Asian yams) are actually a different species (in the Dioscorea family). You will usually only find these at Asian or Middle Eastern supermarkets. They are edible tubers, but usually have a bit of a slimy texture. The leaves of Dioscorea plants are not edible. Dioscorea plants are fun to grow. Just buy a tuber from the market and stick them in the ground at the beginning of spring. They need rich soil and plenty of water, and also a very tall pole to vine around (up to 30 ft). The vine will grow all summer and is gorgeous. When it dies in the winter, you can harvest the tasty roots.

Hope that helps.

-Rishi