Cultivariable Status

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2019 will be a transition year for Cultivariable, as we change from the practice of growing our roots and tubers by repeatedly growing them in the field to a process where we start from tissue cultures, followed by screenhouse multiplication, and only a single generation in the field.  This process will better control diseases in the crops that we offer, yielding a higher quality product.  This transition is costly and time consuming and will probably not be complete this year.  As a consequence, many varieties will not be available this year and it may take as much as three years before some of the low demand items return.

We will probably offer very little in the way of potatoes, oca, mashua, or ulluco in 2019, possibly none at all, but I hope to have most varieties back in the catalog for 2020.  We should have a normal crop of yacon for sale and some of the other lesser crops will also be available.  I also anticipate having a great selection of true potato seeds this year.  Because of the uncertainty, we are not offering any preorders this year.  The catalog has been reduced to only seeds that remain in stock, but the other categories will reappear has they begin to fill in again.

In the future, I will be focusing my efforts a bit more narrowly.  The majority of my work will continue to be with mashua, oca, potato, ulluco, and yacon.  I will continue to grow the other Andean root and tuber crops, but I don’t anticipate offering them in the catalog until I have varieties that represent significant progress.  I continue to do quite a bit of work with sea kale, dahlia, and skirret, so those should appear in the catalog every year.  The other minor crops that we have offered in the past may only appear every other year.

The good news is that, by specializing a little more, I expect to have greater capacity for the big five crops, so, once we get through this transition, we should have more varieties than ever of mashua, oca, potato, ulluco, and yacon.  This is particularly true with potatoes.  I have a lot of great varieties, but disease management is so difficult with potatoes that I have been reluctant to multiply them for sale in the past.  We now should be able to offer much more potato diversity with greater confidence.

So, stick with us.  It could be a long wait for some of your favorite varieties to return, but they will be back along with a lot of new ones as well.