Monday, June 5, 2017

Gardening in Taloctoc, Edible Leaves of Root Crops

Gardening in Taloctoc, Kalinga was never a problem because the soil is rich and fertile. You can plant any veggies and it will spring robustly from the ground.

My mother and I had one such camote garden below the teacher’s quarters. We cultivated camote (sweet potato), pechay (Chinese white cabbage) and various edible veggies in out small garden plots.

Image credit: PhilippinePlants&Tress

They grew robustly that we had harvested big camote tubers and also camote tops. The camote tubes were delicious desserts, while the camote tops were nutrition and sumptuous side dishes. We could survive just harvesting our produce from that garden. How I miss those days.

A gardener should be aware of what root crops have edible leaves. This is because he would be able to maximize the plants’ benefits and save money.

It is a gift from nature that some root crops have edible leaves. He would also know what parts of the plant he should take care the most.

He should know what parts of the leaves are good for food. The young shoots are the best part of the leaves because they are fresher, more tender and edible. The following are some of these root crops.

Edible Leaves of Root Crops

Sweet Potato

The sweet potato is a tuber that could be cooked as dessert. The tasty roots are usually boiled with sugar and milk. The young shoots could be cooked as a succulent vegetable dish, too. Even the green young stems are also nutritious and edible. The tuber could be steamed, fried, roasted, or boiled.


The radish has edible leaves and tubes. In addition, it is rich with essential nutrients, such as vitamin C. People should select the top, leafy part of the vegetable for cooking because they are tastier and easily masticated. The leaves can be cooked with fish or in combination with other vegetables.


The bulb of the onion is an excellent ingredient to bring out the flavor of dishes. It is used as a common condiment with almost any dish, whether this is a vegetable or meat dish. The leaves of the onion could also be sautéed or cooked together with the bulb to spice up food and come up with succulent cuisine. The bulb could be cut into small pieces and boiled with meat and fish dishes too.


Just like onion, ginger is a delicious spice that could be mixed with any dish. The leaves and the rhizomes could be cooked together to spice food. They also lend a scrumptious odor to the dish. Sometimes, they could be used as therapeutic drinks for people suffering from sore throat and mouth infections.


Also called elephant’s ear, the taro’s tuber and leaves are equally edible as vegetable dishes. Both should be cooked thoroughly though, because the calcium oxalate crystals they contain are irritating to the mouth. The leaves and tuber could be cooked with coconut juice to add flavor.


Turmeric is the same family as ginger. It is used as a spice to add flavor to dishes. Its leaves are also edible and have the same role in preparing delicious cuisine. The rhizomes could be cut into small strips and sautéed, or grated and added to dishes.

These are some root crops which have delicious and edible leaves. Knowledge of their usefulness could allow people to experiment and prepare delicious dishes that would satisfy even the most fastidious tongue.

Here's a video of edible leave:

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