Roamin in the gloamin at Oca Acres yesterday, I noticed that one of my seed catching envelopes was hanging in a somewhat forlorn manner. Closer inspection revealed the reason - the pedicel bearing the pod had shrivelled and turned black, leaving the envelope dangling like a limp wrist. In the strong breeze, it looked precariously close to detachment. As the damn thing had obviously failed in its job, I removed it. I could see, snug at the bottom, a shrivelled pod, just like the unfertilised ones that seem to have been dropping off the plants in depressing quantities. I was all set to consign the whole kit and caboodle to the compost heap when the dying rays of the sun revealed more: some freshly-minted oca seeds, backlit by the yellow light. 091710 has produced the first seeds of the season. May the season be long and the harvest bountiful.
I'm a botanist and horticulturist with a longstanding interest in edible and useful plants. I founded an alternative seed company called Future Foods and I also worked in the Heritage Seed Library at Ryton Gardens, HDRA, growing heirloom vegetables for distribution to the members. I'm the only person I know who has tried to grow Japanese knotweed and failed.
Other interests include walking, cycling, music and natural history.