Wind storm damage; ulluco blues

We had a somewhat unusual strong wind storm over the weekend.  That is actually a pretty common event here, but not in September.  We usually have until mid-December before the big storms roll in off the Pacific.

Rescued ulluco seeds from snapped stems

This one wasn’t particularly powerful, but still more damaging than usual because so many plants are still in full leaf.  Our fruit trees came through, but a lot of garden plants took some damage.  I lost some potatoes and oca to snapped stems.  The Yacon has seen better days – snapped stems and shredded leaves where there were big, beautiful plants a couple of days ago.  That is particularly unfortunate because they were just beginning to flower.  Some of my potato onion seed stalks snapped, but not all of them, thankfully.

The most concerning damage was to the ulluco, which is currently setting seed, which is a very rare event.  We had a lot of snapped ulluco stems and many of the inflorescenses dropped off.  Scavenging around the bed produced some of them, which I will now attempt to finish inside.  Most of what I found was in the later stages of maturation, so I am relatively optimistic.  I did note a few red pedicels with no nut, which means that I lost some.  They’re in a raised bed, so I suppose that, as long as I cultivate carefully, there is a remote chance that they will appear as volunteers in the spring.

So, my ulluco nut count stands at three dried and stored, six maturing inside, and six maturing outside.  That is 15, so I’m short ten from what I had before the weekend.  That’s a significant loss, but some is still a lot better than none.

Ulluco tubers are sometimes available in our seed shop.

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