SCIENTIFIC NAME: Colocasia esculenta
FAMILY: Araceae

Many people are turning to grow their own food for economic reasons as a means of getting away from food contaminated with poisons and additives.

To maintain essential body weight we must have in our diet a certain amount of carbohydrate foods and a special food ideal for growing in the tropics of Queensland, that is overlooked, containing this ingredient, is the Taro. Taro is simple to grow.

I acquired some Taro plants from a friend and over the years I have now quite a number of plants. I just pull up a plant and separate the suckers and plant out. We had just built the shade house and had installed overhead sprinklers. All the fertilizers and water that was oozing out of the ground was just going to waste. I thought there must be something I could grow to use up all of that moisture. Taro was the answer. I gathered the little plants and planted them out around the shade house. In the books it says that Taro prefer loose, water-retentive clay soils, and round the shade house was just ideal. Not only did they provide food, the taro plants with their big leaves made a nice decorative display.

After about six months I was picking big corms of Taro. I just cut the top off the Taro root, always careful to leave some root attached to the top. I then replant the top and in no time a new corm will be ready to pick. These tops grow faster than the suckers. The taro corm is also a good source of calcium, phosphorus and Vitamins A and B.

My favourite way of preparing the taro is take off the skin, cut it into thin slices, put in saucepan, cover with water and boil till tender, drain them, lightly fry in cold pressed oil (no additives) till crisp and brown. Drain on paper and serve with fish or salad, and for dessert, a bowl of diced rare fruit.

Christine Gray

DATE: January 1984

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