Oca: Flowering & crossing update

Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) dropped flower

Well, the good news is that our oca (Oxalis tuberosa) is continuing to flower in good numbers, with 20-30 new flowers opening every day across seven varieties.  I have been doing my best bumble bee imitation, transferring pollen from one end of the garden to the other in the hope of producing oca seeds.  Unfortunately, […]

Oca: Cross pollination chart

Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) cross compatibility chart

Here is an early effort at a crossing chart for varieties of oca (Oxalis tuberosa) available in the US.  It still needs a few varieties to be filled in, but it doesn’t seem likely that I’m going to get them to flower this year.  I’ll eventually update the chart when I learn the flower types […]

Oca: Flowering good fortune

Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) 'OE Orange' flowering

Flowering OE Orange oca plant in an embarrassingly weedy patch This has been a particularly exciting week for my little oca (Oxalis tuberosa) experiment, which is nice because I am working on a project that is burning out my brain.  Almost every time I head outside for a quick break, I am greeted with some new […]

Oca: A budding interest soon to bear fruit?

Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) with 5 leaflets

Five-leafed oca While performing my morning walk through the oca (Oxalis tuberosa) and potato rows, vigilant for signs of pests and disease while blinking the sleep from my eyes, I spotted an unusual oca leaf that tuned my senses.  Is a five-leafed oca as lucky as a four-leafed clover?  While I haven’t studied the matter […]

Bitter melon: Tastes better than a punch in the face

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Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is a tropical cucumber relative, originally from India and grown widely in southeast Asia.  As you might expect from the name, it is pretty bitter, although it is generally eaten young before the bitterness reaches its peak. Bitter melons In my experience, there are two categories of people in the world: […]