Sea Kale: Blanching time has arrived

Sea Kale (Crambe maritima) is an excellent vegetable for the perennial garden.  All parts are edible, but some are tastier and require more work than others.  For my palate, there is a tie for best tasting part between the flower buds (like broccoli) and the blanched shoots.  Shoots come early in the year, anywhere between […]

Oca: Three new North American ocas

Winter is coming and that forces hard decisions.  We have more ocas to winter over than I had planned for, particularly since I didn’t expect to be able to both produce and germinate seed this year.  So, our 58 sown and volunteer seedlings have been living outside, coming in to the porch only on nights […]

Oca: Plasticity of Palette

One of the unique features of oca is the frequency with which clones manifest phenotypic changes.  The most obvious of these changes is to skin color.  I haven’t done any careful analysis, but simply dividing the total number of tubers harvested by the number of changes that we have seen, changes to skin color may […]

Ulluco: 2013 harvest

It has been a busy couple of weeks, so I am behind in posting photos of our ulluco harvest.  It turned out to be a pretty good year for ulluco.  There were low points; some of the varieties that I got in long distance trades produced very little (the white one with pink spots disappeared […]

Oca: Seedlings update

Our oca seedlings, sown from this year’s seeds, continue to grow at their own paces. These 53 seedlings (9 have disappeared, probably down a slug’s gullet, since the last update) all resulted from two August sowings and were all grown under the same conditions. Some are still tiny plants with only two or three sets […]

Camas: So, you’re into slow food?

Fresh camas bulbs(I know that they don’t look that appetizing, but the outer layer is easy to peel once they are steamed.) If you like your food not just slow, but really slow, you should look into camas (Camassia quamash is the most common variety, but there are also Camassia leichtlinii and others).  Camas is […]

Summer heat and Andean crops

This was a pretty normal year on the coast of Washington.  We had a cool winter, a cool spring, a cool summer, and so far, we’re having a cool fall.  We’re close enough to the ocean that the temperature of the Pacific just off shore is a much better predictor of our temperatures than anything […]