Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oca and arrachacha

We can be certain is is spring now, just listen to the wind whistling outside. This is the windiest part of the year here and it makes it hard to want to go outside to work... or at least it makes it a lot easier to find excuses to sit inside anyway.

 My arrachacha is starting to take off in the polyhouse. It is loving the warmth and I just hope that the extra heat in summer in there doesn't hurt it.

I am hoping that I will be able to force it to flower and set seed so I can experiment with growing conditions without worrying about killing them all. I only have the 5 plants in this raised bed.

Arrachacha (also called Peruvian parsnip) is one of the 'Lost crops of the Inca' and is supposed to produce nutritious roots but I have not been able to make it produce those roots so far.

I am hoping that moving them to a warmer place will help with root formation. It is in the same family as carrots so it should not be too hard to grow. Not only are the roots edible but you can also eat the young leaf stems raw or cooked.

This morning I planted out my seedling grown oca tubers. I really hope they grow well this season and one of them deserves to be a new variety. I have ordered another couple of packets of seed so I will grow some more this season. If I grow enough I should come up with some interesting ones eventually.
I have put in a couple more beds of oca than I planned on since I have had a lot of interest at the markets. If they grow better than the poor lot last year I should have enough to sell for months next year.

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