"Yacon production is available here in November and April.The work is all executed manually, from planting to harvesting. Only irrigation is automated,"
Texto de Patricia Serrado
Fotografias de Vânia Rodrigues
Jorge Pena is 47 years old. He is a farmer. The desire to create a sustainability project led in 2012 to change the coast with the interior of the country, to settle in the Quinta de Vale de Camba, property located in the parish of Póvoa de Midões, in the municipality of Tábua, district of Coimbra. From the various agricultural experiences of "niche" products, Yacon Portugal was born two years later.
It is important, first of all, to clarify what yacon is? It is a plant that has the Andes as the origin and whose leaves and tubers are edible, being part of the cuisine of several Latin American countries. The number of calories it contains is minimal compared to most of the fruits. Why? "Because their sweetness comes from sugars that the human body is unable to metabolize", and they have "low-calorie content”, between 25 to 35% of calories from common hydro carbonates - promoting better health of the intestinal tract."
The explanation is on the website of this company focused, specifically, on the farm of fruit and vegetables. Objectives? "Sustainability and dynamism of the interior," says Jorge Pena. "Quinta de Vale de Camba presented excellent characteristics in relation to the intended. It is an agroforestry space, framed between the Serra da Estrela and the Serra do Caramulo, near the Mondego River. Tranquility, purity, and isolation were attractive to the project. "Yacon production is available here in November and April. The work is all executed manually, from planting to harvesting. Only irrigation is automated," he reports. The Yacon farm has been certified in organic production mode since 2018. The sale is, in turn, made directly to the consumer through compound bundles with pre-defined quantities.
At the table, it can be consumed as if it was a piece of fruit, in salads or juices.