Part 5. As he traces the contours of his adult journey in the garden, from his early beginnings living on a commune in the 1970’s, Alan Kapuler, molecular biologist, founder of Peace Seeds (his organic seed company, now Peace Seedlings passed down to the next Kapuler generation), former research director for Seeds of Change, and the developer of public domain open-pollinated plants through his efforts as an organic seed breeder—has evolved an unique perspective on life and agriculture that he generously shares in this video episode.
Filmed in October of 2010, this is the final video in the Alan Kapuler series that is now published. Kapuler shares how he first became attracted to growing food, and why he finds gardening to be such a rich and rewarding intellectual and spiritual pursuit.
Kapuler, with help from his youngest daughter, Dylana, became particularly interested in the Andean root crops, especially Yacon, Oca, and Mashua, that extend the growing season of their garden. Yacon, is a perennial plant that is planted April and May, and harvested October and November. It tastes like a sweet potato and also produces a delicious juice that is not bitter (unlike the root of the sugar beet plant), and from which Kapuler uses to make molasses. The leaves of the plant are used in Japan as a tea for diabetics to help modulate blood sugar levels.
Correction: somehow the written post listed the month of July, 2010 as the time of filming, the correct period was October of 2010. In addition, Yacon does not take 2 years to produce a harvest as was incorrectly stated, it produces each year.