Today, I went through my oca and mashua tubers. They were in a refrigerator and I’d been meaning to bring them out of the refrigerator for a while. The reason I’d been waiting is because mice love oca and we recently had some mice problems in the building I was planning on moving them to; plus, I’ve been really busy.
Well, there were apples in the fridge as well and ripe apples release ethylene gas. Ethylene gas makes things ripen really fast . . and it built up in our fridge. As a result, a lot of my oca and mashua has become rubbery. Most of the tubers seem like they’ll be okay and last long enough until I can plant them in the spring. But a couple, I’m going to plant now and see if I can nurse them through winter, otherwise they’re going to turn to mush and I’ll lose that variety.
So, if you want to learn from my mistake - never store oca or mashua with fruit. I should have known better, but sometimes, you space out about things when you’re stretched for time.
While it may seem I’m running through a stretch of bad luck, I also had a lucky surprise yesterday. This fall, I planted winter hard white wheat for a cover crop, but I got it in too late. I planted it in the middle of November I think, and when our hard frost came and it hit 6ºF, I thought all the wheat seedlings (literally seedlings - they only had just sent out their first roots and not shoots were visible) had been killed. Since I didn’t want the soil to be exposed to the heavy rains of winter and have my soil structure destroyed, I covered it with a couple inches of hay.
Yesterday, though, I noticed that the wheat has sprouted and managed to grow through the several inches of wet, matted hay, and it’s grown quite a bit - in the middle of December! Pretty amazing!