Thursday, 29 July 2010

Getting High with Sweetpotato Seeds

Now here's something you don't see very often - sweetpotato seeds. Not for illicit ignition and inhalation as was reportedly the fate of other morning glory seeds when I was at school. And not just any sweetpotato seeds, mind you. These are from Papua New Guinea. From the Eastern Highlands region, where they grow in diverse profusion despite the cool climate. Exciting - especially when you read the accompanying note about growing conditions: "long misty mornings and cold nights". That sounds about right.

There is the promise of more seeds at some stage. Excellent. One thing you can be sure of - I won't be smoking any of them, they're far too precious.

Imagine my surprise when they turned up, all unexpected. Last year, at about this time (which is close to my birthday), I issued the Universe a challenge - provide me with the seeds of high altitude New Guinea sweetpotatoes, among several other things. Well, it would be churlish to complain about the speed of the service and the fact that a few items on that list are still outstanding. But I've always been a bit churlish, so thanks, Universe, but what about some Ipomoea minuta, Apios fortunei and true ulluco seed of the day-neutral persuasion?


6 comments:

Jeremy said...

Excellent ... and happy birthday. I'll be looking forward to future posts on these little gems.

Have you heard about Bioversity's Seeds for Needs project in PNG? selecting varieties pre-adapted to predicted climate change. There isn't a huge amount on the web, but could be interesting for you.

Vegetable Heaven said...

Birthday greetings. May the universe make all your seed wishes come true!

Mark said...

Congratulations, the Seed Fairy is most generous. I hope they grow well and produce a million tubers.

Rhizowen said...

Hi Jeremy and thanks - let's hope I can get them to germinate. Thanks also for the tip-off on Seeds for Needs project - I'll definitely be investigating it.

Hi Veg Heaven - thanks for your kind comments. I like the look of your new blue spuds

Hi Mark - yes, the Seed Fairy continues to bless me with her favours. Somehow I always forget to show sufficient gratitude and keep demanding more.

Madeline McKeever said...

I have quite a good parking angel, I never thought of adopting a seed one. Good luck with the sweet potato seeds. I regularly get customers looking for them.

Rhizowen said...

Hi Madeline

Glad you have a parking angel. The main problem with sweetpotatoes is the fact that they require short days to flower and are, as far as I know, obligate outcrossers. Have you tried growing T65? That would probably be the best variety to try to start with. Should be fun!

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