Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Monday, March 28, 2016

The oca says it's time

Another busy weekend in the garden means a quick post for today. On Sunday, I sowed a variety of seeds, both direct-sown and some in containers in the greenhouse. When I went to dig through the seeds in the cupboard, I saw this:


Those are shoots rising from tubers of oca (Oxalis tuberosa) I had stored in the cupboard over winter. Actually, I had meant to eat more of them, but they were forgotten in the cupboard. Out of sight, out of mind. Oops. Guess it's time to plant them. I put a few back into the vegetable garden (and dug around to find that the few tubers I left in the ground over winter survived and are growing. Until next fall, I'll be researching more ways to prepare them. I found these two varieties (New Zealand Red and Cherry Red) tasted good fresh, with a crisp texture and lemony, slightly starchy taste. Roasting them with potatoes left the oca overcooked and tasting vinegary. Apparently, different varieties of oca have varying tastes. It would be nice to find some other varieties to sample.

At the NWFGS, I picked up a yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) tuber from Raintree. It's been in a pot in the greenhouse the last few weeks and is starting to grow. I'll plant it out in the vegetable garden soon. Maybe this coming weekend. While I'm on the topic of edibles, some of the seeds I started on Sunday included sweet peppers (Jimmy Nardello's and Yum Yum Gold, who thinks of these names?), tomatoes (Chianti Rose and Isis Candy), and basil (Sweet Dani and Finissimo Verde a Palla.

Summer will be delicious.

6 comments:

  1. I didn't even know there were edible Oxalis. Do they really taste like yams?

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    1. I've read that different varieties taste different. Mine have a lemony taste, like oxalis leaves or sorrel, with a bit of starchiness. We tried roasting them with potatoes, but by the time the potatoes were done, the oca was overdone and nobody liked it. Tasted kind of vinegary, not unpleasant, just not great with the potatoes and too strange for my rather boring family.

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  2. You are as adventurous in your eating as in your planting.

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    1. At least when it's something I can grow. ;-)

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    2. What, no sweetbreads or pigs's ears?

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  3. I had to Google Oca. The first line the search produced read: "What the Heck Is an Oca and How Do You Eat It?" Well, that is exactly what I wanted to know. And Yacon too. I learn so much reading garden blogs, I feel my time is well spent. While I look for these products, I hope you find and share successful recipes.

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