Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
November 2016 Status: We produced just a few dozen packets of maca seed this year because we eliminated more than 90% of the plants from our breeding pool. Hopefully that means these seeds will be an improvement over last year’s.
Maca is one of the lesser known Andean root crops and one of the more difficult to grow in North America. Actually, it will grow quite happily in mild summer climates, but it will often not produce good roots, no matter how happy the plants appear to be. Maca is not easy to grow well in North America. It needs a very long, cool growing season. I’ve been working on selecting for earlier maturity and better root size and have made some progress with the yellow landrace. I am also growing red and black landraces, but they aren’t ready for sale yet, as they barely produce any edible size roots.