About Bellingen Seedsavers

We are a group of like-minded growers of edible and useful heritage plant varieties in the Bellingen area of northeast New South Wales, Australia.

Our climate varies from frost-free coastal areas to inland river valleys and highlands with frosts. Bellingen has an average annual rainfall of 1507ml.

Friday 27 October 2017

Growing Yams: Information from Byron Hinterland SS

Thanks to BHSS for this information

Byron Hinterland Seed Savers
have just started  a YAM REGISTER,
where we can keep track of who is growing what YAMS

Hello Everyone, 
We are very excited because Byron Hinterland Home Garden has harvested and eaten a lot of YAMS this year ;  Making mashed  & baked yams and cooking various yams  in curries, stews, soups, cake and icecream!
It is time to plant YAMS NOW  as they are just starting to send their very strong tendrils up into the air. 
I love Yams! Here in the sub-tropics Potatoes do not do so well and Yams are a very sustainable Perennial 
crop.  Along with Taro and Coco Yams!

We would love to make sure if you lose your variety of YAM  that we can help get you more!

This year I thought that I had lost all of my PURPLE YAMS! Heart breaking for me as they are my favorite! 
But a kind person from Lismore got some to me!

We at BHSS have excess planting stock this year and want to make sure more of us grow yams!

We have the following YAMS planting stock : Available freely now. 

AFRICAN YELLOW YAMS :  About the size of a carrot when ready to harvest and soft and yummy. 
( in the second year they grow babies on the vine for replanting, the babies are pictured here)

AERIAL POTATO YAMS: These are white and great eating. Eat the big ones and keep the small for planting. 

PURPLE YAMS:   ( A winged Yam) The purple Yams are usually a very bright wonderful purple.
Sometime they go white. I had already replanted most of mine and the ones pictured have faded to  a white. You can still see traces of the purple. I am not sure why this happens. 

WINGED YAMS: Also come in white and are soft and great eating.

GIANT FOREST YAMS: These grow in many shapes and sizes all  giant. 

YAMS are live food and do not keep.

Please think about growing at least one variety of Yam! The do well in a small garden too!


Here are some basic hints about Yam growing & Cooking:

Yams produce a very long vine. You can grow this up a trellis, or let it trail over stakes and a wire. this will be messy but the wines are great compost when  the leaves die down and you harvest in winter.
When you cut the yams you can dip the cut end in ash to prevent it going moldy that way it will keep longerpre planting.
Cooking Yams:  It is always good to peel yams ( and Taro) in water as both have a slimy surface that can irritate the skin. Soak the yams and change the water before cooking. 
YAMS tend to grow babies on the vines in the second year of growth.  
Make sure you do not let yams grow into the bush or rainforest as they are vigorous!

I am not an expert on Yams. 
This attached article is a good one by Jerry Colby-Williams, a knowledgeable  gardener of food for security and sustainable perennial food.

If you are already growing yams, please send us your  Full Name, Email and Mobile and the names of the Yam’s you have for our YAM REGISTER. 
We hope to make the register available on our Seed Share website once it is relaunched.


Rasa, Paul and the team at BHSS.

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