Oca is normally propagated vegetatively, by replanting tubers, which are clones. Probably because oca has been grown this way for hundreds or thousands of years, it is very difficult to get true, botanical seed, which is the key to breeding new varieties.
When you grow out true oca seed, you will get a brand new variety that you can maintain indefinitely by replanting the tubers. Plants that are propagated vegetatively are very appealing this way: if you get a plant that you like, you have a stable new variety that is all your own. Of course, we can’t guarantee what you will get. Oca is an experimental crop in North America. You may get several excellent new varieties, or you may get weak and inferior varieties, or you may get nothing at all.
We produce three broad breeding mixes, that contain seeds from most of the varieties that we grow:
Group 1 contains seed from only high yielding heirloom varieties. The genetic base is the narrowest of the three groups, but is probably the best mix for tuber size and yield. Germination for 2018 harvest seed for this group tested at 86% on Sep 29, 2018.
Group 2 contains seed from all heirloom varieties plus varieties that we maintain as breeding lines but do not sell. This is the widest genetic base, but not as highly selected for size and yield. Germination for 2018 harvest seed for this group tested at 79% on Sep 18, 2018.
Group 3 contains seed from our original varieties and varieties derived from them. This mix is the closest to our current breeding work. These seeds are OSSI open source, so if you decide to offer a variety grown from them, you must offer it under the OSSI pledge as well. Germination for 2018 harvest seed for this group tested at 81% on Sep 18, 2018.