Monday, August 1, 2011

Supermarket Taro, a follow up

Last December I blogged about a visit to Uwajimaya where I picked up a few Taro root for the incredibly cheap price of $1.99/lb (less than $2 for 3, if my memory serves), I left them in a paper bag in the basement for the winter, taking them out to the garage when the temperatures warmed with the intent of planting them. Then I forgot about ‘em. It wasn’t until late June that I saw them. One was mushy and the other two, while solid, looked to have had a bit of green growth (eyes?) that had since shriveled and died. I decided I had nothing to lose so I stuck them in the ground. And guess what…they are growing! All three of them! So the next time you see Taro root at the grocery store and wonder “can I grow these?” the answer is yes! Just imagine what these would look like if I had planted them in early May, and we actually had some summer heat! (we haven't even hit 90 this summer...very unusual). Just in case you’re wondering no we didn’t put in the ugly cement “retaining wall” bricks, and yes I want them to go away. There is a bit of a grade change so we can’t just yank them out, this is a project for next summer…(projects keep you young, right?)


  1. Yay for supermarket taros! Every taro plant I have ever had - and I think I grew my first one when I was eight or so - was grown from a supermarket tuber. So cheap, so vigorous, so much fun... :)

  2. How cool is that! I love the seredipity of just plunking them in the ground. When you have nothing to lose, it makes you bold, right?

    As for projects keeping you young, I'm not entirely sure...this summer's concrete, construction, and now roofing has given me a few more gray hairs. But it will be great when it's done!

  3. Very cool! I also tried growing grocery store taro, only as a houseplant. It worked, so long as it never, ever dries out.

  4. And this, my dear friend, beats the alternative for the bulbs--making poi. Have you ever tasted that stuff? Gross!! :) Please, I would love to see another photo at the end of the season, like late September so we can see how big they get. Congrats! Don't you just love growing things? :)

  5. Well thats cool. Looks like "eddoes", the roots are one of my favorite ground provisions. The leaves of some types of colocasia are edible too, I am growing some right now called "dasheen" for the edible leaves, those need to be grown in running water. .

  6. And you can use the leaves to make callaloo, a yummy green soup with coconut milk. I'll see if I find a recipe to post on this thread.

  7. This taro is not the same as the taro from which poi is made. That is wetland taro. These are called "araimo" and will be slimy when cooked. Poi taro is not slimy. If you do cook the taro that you got from the market, peel them under water - you may have an allergic reaction if you do not.

    And regarding poi, different tastes for different people, no?

  8. College Gardener, great to know that you have had so much success! I'll be back for more next winter.

    MulchMaid, exactly! I wouldn't necessarily have planted them where I did if I was being prudent. Are you to the painting stage yet?

    Derek, I knew someone had blogged about this and that I'd commented but for the life of me I couldn't remember who. THANK YOU for the link. I also see that my memory of when I planted them was a bit off. I thought it was much later in June...guess not. This is why the smart people make garden notes!

    Grace, I will definitely follow up later...and I've never tasted Poi, although it looks to have it's supporters. Kind of like the Petunias I posted about last week!

    Nicole, running water sounds a little specific for my garden.

    My Chutney Garden, oh I hope you do...I love green soups! (assuming it's a cold soup?)

    Shelley, I have no plans to cook it...but if I did what would I do with it?

  9. Now that I am back in the south, I promise to send you a little warm weather with direct sunshine......they would love it and so would you!!!

  10. Hahaha...that's amazing...just when we've written something off, it can surprise us! I'm with Grace on the Poi...nasty stuff ;-)

  11. This taro can be used like a potato and thus features in many stew recipes. It's found in dishes like "nishime" or "oden" if you care to look it up. The internet is full of recipes for them.

    And seriously? As a girl from Hawai`i, I'm kind of sad that people are bashing poi. I'm not that fond of it, but I wouldn't declare a food from another region's cuisine "gross".

    Sorry. Not trying to start a flame war or anything. I'm sure the others didn't either.

  12. It's so much cheaper to buy them in the supermarket and start them from tubers, whilst one already in leaf can sell for quite a lot in comparison. Great too if you like swathes of them in the summer.

    In previous (milder) winters here some of the ones I left on the ground did come back again in the spring, a nice and little surprise despite their tropical origins.

  13. Very cool idea!

    If we eat with our eyes first, we also barf with our eyes first. Poi might do the latter as well as anything. But that tropical boldness is cool, and it could be a poi garden for any Polynesian friends before winter! (unless it can overwinter in the NW?)

    Too bad Cascadia & the Southern Plains cannot do an exchange on temperatures...both unusually odd at either end. Oh, I just described Abq this year, right in between...not too warm or cool.


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