Monday, 1 August 2011
The unsummery weather we've had until fairly recently, with heavy rain and strong winds, doesn't seem to have fazed the ocas at all. They're keen to give their all in the Reproduction Sweepstake. I'll just have to follow on behind as per usual, with little envelopes to collect the output of the random oca generator.
One concern I have is the relative scarcity of bumble bees so far this season. I'm pretty sure that Oca Acres was fairly ringing to their buzzing last year. This year is different: hardly any were to be seen until the last couple of weeks. I don't think I even glimpsed a single honeybee until a few days ago, which is highly unusual. Apart from my obvious worries about the decline of well-loved insects, I don't really want to go back to the dark (daft?) days of hand pollination if I can avoid it. The bees and hoverflies seemed to do a much better job than me without the general tetchiness and backache I experienced when transferring pollen.
I notice that one of my self-sown seedlings is now in flower. This isn't Prima, but the second plant to appear, henceforth to be known as Compay Segundo. If this and other similar seedlings flower and set seed, the whole oca lifecycle will have been achieved alfresco - another step in the long road to acclimatising the plant to our conditions.
Growing Oca blog, where Ian seems to have perfected the art of oca associations in the vegetable bed. In the meantime, I'll keep plugging away at finding a day- neutral, heavy yielding, tasty and ravishingly beautiful oca. Wish me luck and never mind that it's started raining again.