OCa

(Oxalis tuberosa)
Read Oca Blogs Here

Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) – an Andean root crop that is a challenging plant to grow in the Southeast for two main reasons. First, it doesn’t really like it when it gets hot (much above 80F), so getting the plants to survive happily through the summer can be problematic. Second, the tuber formation is triggered by short days, which means a late winter harvest is needed to maximize yield. Sadly, in a normal season, our first frost will kill oca before significant tuber production.

OUR WORK

In 2020 the Utopian Seed Project is growing 10 tubers planted from Cultivariable breeding stock, which have been selected (among other things) for longer day length tuber formation. These are actually ‘breeding-seconds’, which means they didn’t make Cultivariable’s cut but are good trial material for us in the Southeast. We have successfully grown oca in buckets before, which meant they could be moved around to maintain optimum conditions and protected from early frosts. This year we’ll try a mix of planting methods and plant protection.

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