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Oca, Oxalis tuberosa, from neglected tubers surviving in the ground during last winter

Oca are late to develop underground tubers. This mild start of winter has been a gift for the ocas. Harvested between christmas and new year, it is my best oca harvest ever.

The two clones that yielded best, I’ve grown for years. The neglected tubers survived last winter in ground. But I guess the better yield is due to better soil and more space.

 
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Oca, Oxalis tuberosa, from neglected tubers surviving in the ground during last winter
 
With a good harvest came the desire to use oca for food. They cured some days at room temperature, before being boiled in water until tender. The taste was pleasantly mild and slightly sour. I guess most people will like oca.
 
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Oca from a first year seedling
 
In the spring, I was presented some new oca clones, and a small bag of the rare oca seeds. The seeds made it in to a single healthy oca plant, that produced these nice tubers. Many thanks to Philip Heinemeyer!
 
Oca is producing tubers in short days. Quite unfortunate in scandinavia! For more ease of culture, shortday dependecy need to be bred out of oca, like it was done in potatoes. To breed oca, I need seeds. Before seed harvest, ocas must flower. Unfortunately, also flowering seems to be shortday dependant. (*correction: Oca, I learn, can flower in long days) Anyway, I still wait for the first oca flowers in my garden. While waiting for the flowers, I really appreciate the efforts of gardeners in milder parts of Europe!

 

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Entire oca harvest
 

The above photo show the entire oca harvest. The six pots on the right contain named clones and the seedling, the six pots on the left contain the two old clones.
 

Ps. I’ve saved some tubers of all the clones for next garden season.

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Oca (Oxalis tuberosa). Small but beautiful

In spring, I received some oca tubers. They were planted and cared for reasonably well. But our autumn weather, I can not do much about. The frost came early this year but I pay attention to the weather forecast, and managed to put some bubble wrap over the bed. Later, when the snow arrived, I dug up two plants, but yields were not high. I decided to leave the last plant in the ground, covered in bubble wrap, and deep snow, hoping for it to size up the tubers in early winter.

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If the tubers could feel the cold, they would tremble pitifully🙂

The much longer time in the soil, they tolerated well. Soil, bubble wrap and the thick layer of snow has managed to keep the frost away from the tubers. However, there has been so cold that the tubers is not greater than if I had dug them up with the first. It was otherwise my quiet hope that the extra time in the soil would increase yields.

Oca is not a candidate to be an important crop in my garden before people like Ian Pearson of Growing Oca, Rhizowen from Radix and others have selected some clones that can form tubers much earlier under northern conditions (they must be less day length sensitive). Originally it was the same problem with the potato, but it was solved by plant breeding. Can it be done again?

The beautiful seashell (from scallop) I was sent from Anselmo in Asturias, filled with his fine chilli. His gallery is filled with stunning images from his country house and the region.

PS. Do not ask me how oca taste! I still just dream about it.

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Oca (Oxalis Tuberosa)

Recently I had an offer I couldn’t resist:
Send some exciting seeds, and you will receive some oca tubers.
They arrived by mail yesterday, and now have a spot in individual pots in the greenhouse. Thanks to Ian Pearson of London! Ian write blog on oca – it is most interesting.

Over the last years I have kindly turned down several offers. Being an Oxalis, they contain oxalic acid. I have not been comfortable with that, as it is suspected some people get kidney-stones from that – and I’m not asking for kidney-stones. But now I’ve read, that a thorough sunbathing (greenhouse or windowsill) can make the oxalic acid go away. Sweet low-oxalic oca sounds tempting, doesn’t it?

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