Longing to Get Out Soon — and Studying Wild Yams

We’ve finally recovered from being sick and are antsy to get out camping again.  We’ve had decent temperatures, but the rain has been pretty constant.  We didn’t want to head out camping only to have to spend all of our time inside the Casita.

wild yam leaves

Wild yam leaves found about 1/3 mile from our house a couple of years ago

Now it’s turning cooler again, so it will probably be a few more weeks before camping weather returns.

In the meantime, I’ve been studying books, videos and internet articles on high calorie wild edible foods that would really help supplement our diet in times of runaway inflation or food scarcity.

I found two kinds of wild yam when I was digging groundnuts a couple of years ago.  I was pretty upset because wild yams are invasive and I was afraid they would wipe the groundnuts out in the area.

Tiny new first year wild yam tubers — this is the photo that was stolen and cropped

I posted these photos (sometime back in 2010), but am reposting them since I have a renewed interest in them.  By the way, in researching on the net, I discovered some fly-by-night outfit in New Zealand had stolen one of my photos, cropped it, and was using it to advertise his wild yam products.  I’m pretty used to that happening, though, based on when I had a web graphics business.

But I’ve found more information on wild yams and one  of them, the Winged Yam (Dioscorea alata),  is a good edible.  It’s the same kind of yam that is sold in stores, only it has reverted to its wild state.  The roots are around 10 pounds each (think the calories of a 10 pound bag of potatoes) and easy to dig up, unlike the wild sweet potato which is horribly labor intensive to dig.

A different type of wild yam

A different type of wild yam

I think that the kinds of wild yam that grow near here are ones that would be considered famine food only as they contain a compound called  Diosgenin that is an effective birth control agent and not something you would want to eat a lot of.  I plan to submit my photos to an expert for positive identification so I’ll know for sure.

 

[on edit — I found out that my yam is a great edible!  More next post!]

Here’s a video on wild yams if you are interested.

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6 Comments

  1. good lord! stealing wild yam pictures… ! how interesting though … love yams – don’t think I’ve ever had a wild one!

    • Carolyn, I used to belong to a diet forum. People selling all kinds of diet supplements would steal our before and after photos and use them to advertise their phony products!

  2. You were a graphic artist….I can tell from your beautiful blog and tasteful Casita decorating you had an artful skill :O) coupled with your search of food for the table!

    We used to grow sweet potatoes…had some the size of footballs. In the grocery I’m loving those dark red beauties and the yellow ones. I’d love to try a wild one… Glad your feeling better…and sounds like before long you’ll be on the road searching out more sweet edibles!

    • Artful skill…. what a nice comment! Thank you! 🙂

      I found out more about my yams…. great news! I’ll post an update tomorrow. Unfortunately, they are not real sweet like the yams we are used to. Their taste is a cross between a yam and a white potato. But they are free, fun food! 🙂

  3. Very glad to hear that you are feeling better! The winter will be over before you know it!

    Another informative post on eating wild!

    • Right now the winter seems endless…. but time has flown and I’m sure it will seem like only a few days and spring will be here! And it IS nice to feel halfway decent again!

      Keep on soaking up that sunshine for me! 🙂

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