Participants have started planting of the amphitheatre beds in front of the City Farm Cafe’ with edible Queensland Arrowroot.
This variety is the edible Queensland Arrowroot (Achira, Canna). We have grown it ourselves and is certified organic. The arrowroot can grow 2-3 m tall in both boggy, wet soil and drier soils. It is suited to tropical and temperate climates. The arrowroot we planted will require some pruning of dead leaves after they have established themselves and overcome the initial shock of transplanting from pots. New shoot growth will occur soon after. With regular watering the plants should reach maturity in 6 months to a year giving a crop of edible roots/tubers which can be eaten raw, steamed, roasted, sliced finely and added to stir-fries, casseroles, stews and soups. I’m sure the cafe will create some fantastic dishes from this crop when it is harvest time. The leaves can be used like banana leaves to serve food, they are also great source of protein for our chickens and we will be using the stems as mulch or turning it into compost plant the future seasons of crops in. If you would like to plant these at home we have a few plants left for sale in the nursery. We will be propagating from the root stock at the end of the season, so will have more then.
There are many ways plants can be used in the farm system, not only in looking good as an ornamental and but also producing edible food to cook and preserve. In this case the arrowroot will grow tall create a micro climates, provide food for livestock, be used as mulch and not forgetting any organic material can be used in organic compost to grow more plants. As a permaculture system and organic farm we are always looking at the multiple uses of the plants we grow to be more sustainable.