Welcome to my blog

I was born in Guernsey (but now live in Brittany) and our main industry was growing tomatoes although that industry has now virtually disappeared. Growing tomatoes to a Guernseyman is like wine to a Frenchman, it's in our blood! I do not profess to be an expert, but I have picked up a few tips and techniques which work for me.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

OCA What is it?

After Ian posted a comment on my blog about Bi-Cropping with OCA, I have to admit I did not really know what it was, so did a bit of research and found out a little more about it.
So the thought of lemon flavoured potatoes has got Galloping Gourmet (Mrs TK) all excited, so I will have to take Ian up on his offer of some tubers later in the year.
Here is a link to Ian's blog .

All you need to know about growing OCA   Eco farm

This what I found from http://www.realseeds.co.uk/unusualtubers.html

~ A Seasonal Special: "OCA" ~  (Latin name: Oxalis Tuberosa)

 This is a favourite of ours from South America. Oca is grown and used just like new potatoes. It has a lemony taste and is very easy to grow as long as you have a moderately long season. It is completely unrelated to potatoes and so of course not affected by blight!

One of the 'Lost Crops' of the Incas, this is one of the staples of people in Bolivia & Peru. A very easy crop to grow, with a taste just like potatoes with lemon sauce. No need to peel, just boil and serve with butter. Mmmmm.

And the lush green foliage with yellow flowers is actually rather pretty in its own right. Very few pests seem to like it, so its a real 'no work' crop.

The tubers are formed in short days, often as late as November, so if you have early frosts this may not be for you. On the other hand, if the autumn is mild, as it has been this year, you should get a big crop of surprisingly large tubers. We got about 1/2 a kilo of Oca from each tuber planted.

We have grown it successfully for years: both in Cambridge and on the west coast of Wales, but we don't know how it would fare further north. It is very easy to multiply up - you just keep a few tubers back for replanting. So if you like it you don't need to buy it each year but just replant your own.

More details on storage and cooking included with your tubers! The oca has been incredibly popular - last year we grew loads but it all went really quickly! We keep planting more but can never keep up with demand.

HOW MUCH DO YOU GET? These are little seed tubers, like seed potatoes. We pack by weight (100grams) , and you'll get a mix of sizes. But you'll definitely get at least 5 tubers (if they're big), or could get up to 9 (if they're small). If you like them, just keep some of your own back for future years - you'll not need to buy them again.


  1. I grew Oca for the first time last year. I had 2 types, a red one and a more orange coloured one. I found that the red one was very nobbly and hard to clean but the orange was beautiiful. It's really a lovely flavour. On a recommendation from a friend who had grown it before, I left it in the ground for a month after the foliage had been hit by frost. She suggested that the starch migrated from the thick, succulent stems down into the tubers. Don't know it that's the case but certainly they were much fatter a month later.

  2. Hi Steve, thanks for the mention. I've just been having a rummage, and have found some left-over oca tubers. They are tiddlers, but are sprouting like crazy. It's not too late to get them in the ground if you want them, rather than waiting 'till next season. In a polytunnel, they may find it a bit hot in the Summer, but your day-length in autumn should work well for them. E-mail me your address (get my email from my Blogger profile) if you want them.
    Vegetable Heaven, my observations match your friend's recommendation. I found tubers continued to grow even after stems were frozen solid and freeze-dried. I suspect roots may still be at work feeding the tubers after the foliage is dead.


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