This blog post is about growing and harvesting oca tubers. Oca tubers are also known as oca tuberosa or oxalis tuberosa or New Zealand yam. They originate from the Andes and have been brought to Europe and New Zealand. Therefore they are good to grow in the UK climate. I have been growing it for a number of years and they come back, again and again, year after year. They are mainly grown for their tubers and they are much easier to grow than potatoes. When roasted they taste like roasted apples.
I have found another use for its leaves as it’s high in tannin they are great for my natural fabric printing designs. Oca tubers are relatively easy to grow although in order to produce nice juicy tubers one needs to give them room to grow. Read on for tips and tricks on growing them.
Growing and harvesting Oca tubers
Oca tubers are grown from tubers. I initially bought the tubers online from eBay during the autumn and winter season. They do come in many varieties and colours. I got pink and yellow ones but over the years the pink ones have evaporated. I always have tubers around do send me a message if you find it hard to get hold of them if you are based in the UK. Unfortunately, I can’t post worldwide due to plant export restrictions.
Put these tubers in some well drained manure compost and you are good to go. Come around March to late April it will start sprouting little branches. Oca tubers can be grown in raised beds, big planters or on the ground . They make a great cover as they are crawlers. A bit like a sweet potato plant. Grown in a sunny spot thtas all it needs. Do tae care of squirrels as they seem to love to chew on these tubers.
Come sometime end of summer you will find big clumps of leaves and stems which are seeking soil on the ground. That is because come late autumn they will start producing tubers from them. But I find the ones ground/ orginate from the ground grows the biggest tuber.
Harvesting oca tubers
Come winter or when the first sign of frost arrives the leaves and stem will die back. Do protect the tubers from being bitten by frost. Frost bitten ones don’ttaste nice as well but they will still regrow back next year. I normlly leave them on the ground till i ready to eat them. Roast them in the oven with a bit of oil and they are ready to serve. Do read my old blog post on harvesting oca tubers.
The leaves I understand are high in oxalic acid so I don’t eat them but use them in my natural fabric printing fabric projects.