Ideal starter kit for anyone looking to grow ancient edible tubers, a most rewarding crop for years to come. Vigorous tubers are freshly harvested on the day of purchase and posted unwashed for extra preservation. More info below. Buy more get more extra free. Free postage on additional items!
29 tubers included in this mix: 2 Mashua Blanca, 15 Oca, 6 Jerusalem Artichoke Fuseau and 6 Jerusalem Artichoke White Truffle.
1x Mix - SOLD OUT
2x Mix - SOLD OUT
Oca is an ancient tuber from the Andes. It’s in the wood sorrel family. They are easy to grow, need no attention and very little space. Oca are healthy and tasty, a valuable source for vitamin C, B6, A, potassium and iron. It was first introduced to Europe in the 1830’s to compete with the potato, it never became popular and the potato ended up on almost every Europeans dinner plate for nearly 200 years. Oca is quite rare nowadays, perhaps it’s not suitable for commercial production, however it is a good vegetable for the domestic garden. Lets make it popular again! It can be cooked in much the same ways as potatoes, our favorite way is to roast them in the oven with some oil, salt and pepper. Please note the colour of Oca tubers usually becomes more intense over the winter.
Mashua is a vegetable that has been used by humans for 8000 years and has been in cultivation for about 1400 years in Peru and Bolivia at over 3000 meters above sea level. It has been grown along side of the famous potato, as well as yacon and oca. It is a tuberous nasturtium very well suited to our cold temperate maritime climate in Ireland. In spring, when it’s still cold and not much else is growing, mashua takes off to an early start and it almost takes over the place with it’s climbing shoots. In fall it flowers and retracts back into fresh tuberous stored underground for the winter well protected from the frost. No artificial storage and replanting required, same as the potato and the oca when using woodchip mulch. In our gardens they have been coming back year after year more vigorous. The whole plant is edible i.e. leafs, flowers in salads and the tubers are best roasted but can be eaten raw.
Jerusalem Artichoke, also known as Sunchoke or Sunroot. It’s a member of the sunflower family and it was first introduced into Europe at the beginning of the 18th century. It is a versatile and useful plant with it’s many uses beyond being ornamental. Plants reach 2.7 meters (9 feet) in height very quickly, this makes them ideal for a pop up hedge or a wind breaker for the summer months. Tubers are plentiful and can overwinter outside in any well mulched garden protecting them from frosts. They do particularly well in no dig lasagne gardens and can even be harvested throughout the winter or left to grow in the next growing season. Sunroots are famous for it’s edible tubers which are often referred to as earth apple. Although it’s best to wait until the carbohydrates have turned from inulin into fructose later in the winter, this makes it sweeter to taste and easier to digest.
There are many other rare tubers such as Yacon, Mashua, Chinese artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, Ulluco and Apios. Most of them quite similar to the well known potato but often healthier and can be grown with near zero maintenance. In our experience tubers can be stored in a well drained and mulched garden bed all winter, or in some almost dry potting compost (or peat) in a cold well ventilated shed. Best suited are open trays, buckets, pots or paper bags.
We like to get them off to a good start by planting them in small pot or trays in the greenhouse around March or April and plant them out into our mulched garden beds as strong seedlings in May when there is no more hard frosts. We have some videos on planting and harvesting Oca, Sunchokes and Mashua.