It was exciting learning how to harvest and cook Cassava with Vanessa last week at Varsity Vegies Community Garden.
Cassava is a vital staple for about 500 million people around the world and its starchy roots produce more food energy per unit of land than any other crop.
Its leaves are commonly eaten as a vegetable in parts of Asia and Africa and provide vitamins and protein, but they must be boiled or steamed for at least two minutes to eliminate any cyanide content.
Nutritionally, the cassava root is comparable to potatoes, except that it has twice the fiber content and a higher level of potassium. The root also requires cooking to make it edible.
At Varsity Vegies we grated the Cassava root to make pancakes but it can also be used as a vegetables in dishes, dried and ground into tapioca flour, or sliced and made into snack chips.
This valuable plant is the the worlds' third largest source of carbohydrate in the human diet.
When I heard the plant from which we had harvested the root last week had fallen over I headed down to the veggie patch to assist in cutting it up for replanting.
The original plant was replanted minus and the cuttings, and now the back fence has about fifteen new plants beginning their journey of growth.
The dead leaves were put back on the ground as mulch.
From one fallen tree many new great survival plants will be ready to provide food in about eighteen months.