Due to work commitments over the next few months, it will be hard for me to post as often as I'd like, so I'm taking this opportunity to look back (not necessarily in anger) at the highs and lows of root crop exploration. And eat that cupcake.
- Producing some decent crops of oca seeds which I have been able to distribute to others.
- Getting said seeds to germinate, grow and produce an interesting range of new oca varieties. I'm still waiting for that elusive day neutral one, but it can only be a matter of time.....
- Managing to trick my mauka plants into flowering and producing viable seeds; getting the seeds to grow.
- Setting up the Radix Root Crops Facebook page - I've learnt a lot from this kindly bunch of alternative root crop obsessives.
- Obtaining seeds from the most northerly growing diploid hopniss plants in the USA (read: the world) - which may or may not yield something better than the average hopniss; time will tell.
- Growing sweetpotatoes from seeds produced in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. OK, yields weren't great, but they grew.
Losing virtually all my ocas - twice, thanks to illness and unusually cold weather. And my yacons and virtually any other frost tender roots. Nearly dying myself didn't help much to improve my mood either. Unlike George Michael, I wasn't required to give an emotionally charged statement to the thronging press as I left hospital. I was quietly whisked back to Cornwall in a VW Polo.
The crushing disappointment of the underwhelming performance of yampah - previously considered contender for the carrot's crown. No longer.
Mashua - it grows well and yields abundantly here - I just can't overcome my aversion to the taste of it. Damn.
Ulluco - oh so pretty but - oh no - so temperamental.
So, I wonder what the next three years will bring? One thing's for certain: the world of the unabashed rhizophile will continue to throw up challenges and delights, success and failure.