Monday, 30 May 2011

Mauka: The Next Generation

Here's a quick update on the mauka seedlings which hatched just over a month ago. Their growth has been rapid to say the least and they are in need of hardening off and planting out.

You may not be able to see it, but the 'Roja' seedlings are developing red stems, whereas the 'Blanca' ones are green - they apparently cleave unto themselves as regards stem colour, although I've no idea about any other, more subtle characteristics. What I do know for sure is this: simple daylength manipulation is enough to get the plants to flower and set seed. The fact that the seeds show excellent viability and produce vigorous seedlings leads me to stick my neck out and say that breeding mauka is going to be one of the easier gigs for Radix.

Given mauka's ability to thrive in windy, dry areas, this is probably a good thing - we've had virtually no rain for months and a strong, cold wind has been an almost constant irritation. I could moan, but what's the point? Taking my lead from luminaries such as Sigmund Freud, Billy Connolly and Alfred Wainwright, I lay out my philosophy thus: there's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate root crops.

5 comments:

Vegetable Heaven said...

Well, they look strong enough. My big question with all crops though, is how do they taste? Have you ever eaten any?

Rhizowen said...

Yes, Veg Heaven, I have eaten them - see this post for my thoughts:

http://radix4roots.blogspot.com/2009/02/mouthful-of-mauka.html

Mark said...

Sounds like a good crop for the east coast. Maybe ideal for Aberdeenshire and similar climates in Britain with a wee bit of light manipulation.
Question is how does it deal with very wet conditions for long time?
PS .The talet are doing well.

Rhizowen said...

Hi Mark

Sorry, I meant to reply to your email. Glad the talets are doing well. Let me know when they start to flower. I would say that mauka copes pretty well with wet conditions as in precipitation, but waterlogged soil would probably rot the roots fairly quickly.

Mark said...

The mauka, if they are good tasting crops as you ahve previously indicated, they might be very useful in rotations. They could be used, I imagine, quite successfully to get rid of many pests/pathogens that attack other valuable more common root crops from different families such as carrots.
PS from June 2nd all the National Academies Press books will be freely available as pdf's.

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