Cassava

What

stake

A friend stopped by and left some boiled Cassava, some roots, and some cuttings. So, it’s time to plant Cassava. But how does it grow? And how to properly plant it?

My wife, raised where Cassava, also known as Yucca, is a food staple, contemptuously says, “You just stick it in the ground!”

That’s not good enough for me. Is it a tree or a bush? Planting? At what spacing? How deep? Does it need something special?

She heads for the shovel.

I head for the computer.

First things first! Just how do you spell it anyway? Once the hard part is done, there’s some great information at Wikipedia and The UN. And many videos at YouTube.

The Plant

Cassava.

Cassava.

Turns out Cassava is a neat plant.

  • 6′ tall tropical looking shrub
  • 4′ spacing
  • 4″ deep
  • drought tolerant
  • inter-crops well
  • grows in acidic poor soils
  • is sustainable
  • has nutritious root and leaves
  • has many culinary uses
  • has good yields
  • can be planted any time

Having eaten it before, I know it tastes good simply boiled or fried.

No wonder man has spread it from Brazil throughout most of the tropical world, where it has displaced many native foods.

Once thought of as poor-man’s-food, it now commands a high enough price that it’s sold as a cash crop. But it’s not without problems.

Planting

Just buried it.

Two sticks just stuck 6″ apart in the Florida sand.

Turns out she was right. A 15cm cutting is just stuck into the ground.

Not all is lost with the research. Did I mention I now know how to spell Cassava. 🙂

Get the wife and the shovel. We’re headed to the garden. To do it her way. In a couple of minutes, the Cassava is in the ground. Doesn’t get any easier than that.

The Roots

Although the leaves are edible, it’s the roots that are harvested. What a plant.

The Eating

Beautiful.

Beautiful.

The cuttings are in the ground. And now there’s something to look forward to. No, not a bunch of roots a year from now. It’s boiled Cassava waiting for us in the kitchen!

My wife does some magic on the remaining mushrooms and some Choi from the Farmer’s Market. What a delightful combination of flavors and mouth-feel.

Another great meal with my wife. Life is good! And will be even better when I see the first shoots and then roots from my own Cassava.

Repeating

And then I’ll make some cuttings and share them. This is how I’ll do it:

Cassava, with its historical and cultural ties, is a neat plant. Who would have thought that a Old Wyoming boy like me would be planting them in Florida while the rest of the nation is buried in winter snow.

-dBguy