This blog post is about growing and harvesting mashua. Mashua is a tuber-like an oca tuber. It’s scientific name is Tropaeolum tuberosum. It has origins from the Andes. The Andes climate has similar to the UK, therefore, it is suitable to grow in overcast misty climates. I have been growing it for about 3 years now. The yield is not as much as oca tuber probably the amount of tuber I am growing at the moment is not as many.
As a result, I have not tasted much of it. However, I believe has got roast chestnut and vanilla flavor.
There are different varieties of Mashua notably ‘Ken Aslett’ in which was meant to grow as ornamental in the UK.
Growing and harvesting mashua
It grows the same way as oca tuberosa but it’s foliage is rather different. I have bought the mashua tubers from eBay. It can only be grown from tuber not seed so try to get hold of them perhaps in some nurseries. They are also sold as ornamental rather than an edible tuber so do have a good look around.
Unlike some other types of tubers, mashua don’t start growing till March to April. start planting when the risk of frost is over. I have stored the tubers on the ground outside under the soil. As I don’t have that much yield I didn’t harvest it.
The plant then in some manure compost in a sunny spot. They are great climbers either give them some support to climb on like a corn plant. Or it growing on raised beds or containers let them grow to tumble down.
Come late autumn or when the first sign frost comes that cuts down the foliage the tubers are ready to harvest. Gently harvest them by lifting the tubers out using a fork. It can be stored in a cold dark place like the shed or garage, a layer of compost or vermiculite n colder areas. I just store them on the ground as there is not much risk of heavy frost in London.
The tubers can be eaten raw and cooked. In salads or cooked like potatoes.