Oca

Oca

This page is an open source resource guide for oca. It is for growing and maintaining the most bio-diverse, delicious, and broadly applicable oca selection possible. It contains cultural considerations, planting guidelines, descriptions, and the best places we’ve found for purchasing the species we’ve listed. As part of the One Community Highest Good food component of global transformation, this page will continue to evolve indefinitely to contain maintenance and care tips, accessioning and plant breeding and sharing information as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model, and even recipe’s, preparations, and preservation methods used on the property.

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Oca collage, One Community

OCA

(Click here for oca purchase details)

Note: The photos and varietal descriptions for oca are largely taken from Ben Kamm’s Sacred Succulents website. Ben has done a great deal to bring these forgotten vegetables to the attention of North American gardeners, traveling to the Andes and bringing back these treasures before they are lost. We will be buying our stock of these plants from the Sacred Succulent nursery, and recommend others to support this worthy enterprise.

Oca (Oxalis tuberosa)
Oca, One Community

Oca is one of a complex of traditional root crops from high elevations in the Andes mountains, cultivated for its highly nutritious edible tubers. In Peru and Bolivia, for example, this tuberous root vegetable is the second most widely grown root crop behind the potato. Oca are adapted to cold dry climates but may require frost protection in the autumn, since the tubers do not begin to form until after the equinox.

CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS
  • Tubers can overwinter in Zone 7a if well mulched
  • Hill up plants in late summer to increase tuber formation
  • Tubers form after the equinox and onset of cool weather
  • The harvested tuber are often exposed to the sun and cold to sweeten
  • Cover plants with shade cloth in late summer to simulate shortened days
PLANTING GUIDELINES

Plant tubers as early in spring as possible; row covers or hot caps will help protect emerging plants from late frosts. Oca prefers well drained soil and an application of a general fertilizer is appreciated as the plants grow. A mulch of well rotted compost or grass cuttings around the plant during summer will keep the soil moist and aid the plant’s growth. Water plants well during dry spells, especially from mid September when tuber initiation commences, as this will promote larger tubers. Harvest tubers after the tops die down.

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VIDEO COMING: Planting tutorial followed by timelapse growth videos

SEE OUR HOW TO HELP AND/OR CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN PAGE IF YOU’D LIKE TO GET INVOLVED AND/OR SUPPORT ONE COMMUNITY’S DEVELOPMENT PROCESS.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Wikipedia – Oca

Bauml, Golden Oca, One Community
GO#1 :: Bauml Golden Oca

Bauml Golden is from ethnobotanist Jim Bauml’s La Paz, Bolivia collection. It is a rounded cylindrical tuber of a deep golden-yellow color with slender red “eyes”. This variety has a superb buttery flavor, similar to winter squash.

 

Baumi, Crema de Rosa Oca, One Community
GO#2 :: Baumi Crema de Rosa Oca

Bauml Crema de Rosa is a non-acidic, tasty oca from La Paz, Bolivia. It is a rounded to cylindrical knobbly tuber that is cream colored with a pink-red blush.

OE-Orange, One Community
GO#3 :: OE Orange Oca

OE Orange oca is a knobby, cylindrical tuber that was originally introduced by the now defunct Oregon Exotics nursery. This variety has a yellow and orange color which turns to a darker shade of orange with rose highlights after exposure to light.

Sunset Oca, One Community
GO#4 :: Sunset Oca

Sunset oca is a medium-sized orange to salmon-red cylindrical tuber with a high yield. When fresh, it is delightfully acidic; when cooked, however, the flavor is mild.

Hopin Oca, One Community
GO#5 :: Hopin Oca

Hopin is an oca with a nice, crisp flavor. This variety looks unusual with its round, white tubers blushed with pale pink to dark red.

Mexican Red Oca, One Community
GO#6 :: Mexican Red Oca

Mexican Red is an oca with dark, blood-red, flattened, cylindrical tubers. This variety is one of the cultivars that has been grown in the mountains of Mexico for centuries.

Killu-oca-large-scale-gardening
GO#7 :: Killu Oca

Killu oca is a pale-yellow, slender, cylindrical tuber which has a tendency to branch. This variety is known for its good flavor.

OE, Durazno Oca, One Community
GO#8 :: OE Durazno Oca

OE Durazno oca is a rounded, yellow to pale-orange tuber with reddish “eyes” and pink/red-orange highlights, similar to a peach. This variety is from Oregon Exotics, however the original name has been lost.

OE, Yellow, One Community
GO#9 :: OE Yellow Oca

OE Yellow (another oca introduced by Oregon Exotics) is a pale-yellow, cylindrical tuber with red “eyes”. This variety has a smooth, sweet flavor.

Polar Bere Oca, One Community
GO#10 :: Polar Bere Oca

Polar Bere is a bone-white oca with lumpy, rounded tubers. This variety turns to pale-yellow after exposure to light. Polar Bere has a mild sweet flavor.

We will also be growing the following additional Oca:
Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) :: GO#11 -GO#16

11. BK08516.7 12. BK08516.8 13. OAEC Pink 14. Amarillo 15. OE Blush 16. Rebo

Oca Plant Material/Seed Providers:
Oca Purchase Details
REF # VEGETABLES VARIETY SOURCE QUANTITY UNIT COST TOTAL COST
GO#1 Oca Bauml Golden SS 5 tubers $8.5 $42.5
GO#2 Oca Baumi Crema de Rosa SS 5 tubers $8.5 $42.5
GO#3 Oca OE Orange SS 5 tubers $8.5 $42.5
GO#4 Oca Sunset SS 5 tubers $8.5 $42.5
GO#5 Oca Hopin SS 5 tubers $8.5 $42.5
GO#6 Oca Mexican Red SS 5 tubers $8.5 $42.5
GO#7 Oca Killu SS 5 tubers $10.5 $52.5
GO#8 Oca OE Durazno SS 5 tubers $12.5 $62.5
GO#9 Oca OE Yellow SS 5 tubers $12.5 $62.5
GO#10 Oca Polar Bere SS 5 tubers $9.5 $47.5
GO#11 Oca BK08516.7 SS 5 tubers $8.5 $42.5
GO#12 Oca BK08516.8 SS 5 tubers $8.5 $42.5
GO#13 Oca OAEC Pink SS 5 tubers $8.5 $42.5
GO#14 Oca Amarillo SS 5 tubers $8.5 $42.5
GO#15 Oca OE Blush SS 5 tubers $12.5 $62.5
GO#16 Oca Rebo SS 5 tubers $8.5 $42.5

 

OTHER OCA RESOURCES

We are seeking awesome oca resources. If you know of one, please click here to share it with us so we can make this page better.

 

OCA AS PART OF THE BOTANICAL GARDEN MODEL

This section will evolve to include accessioning and plant breeding and sharing information as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model.

 

OCA PREPARATION, PRESERVATION, AND RECIPES

This section will evolve to include testimonials, recipe’s, preparations, and preservation methods used on the property first, and then later with additional information from other Highest Good collaborators and teacher/demonstration hubs.

Oca Pizza, Oca Recipes, One Community

Oca Pizza

Recipe courtesy of: Emma the Gardner


Total Time: 15 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: Chill
Yield: 4 Servings
Level: Easy

 

Ingredients

Topping

  • 350g of oca, cleaned and any damage cut away
  • Some pesto (any of basil, wild garlic, rocket will do) or parsley persillade or similar (there are recipes in The Permaculture Kitchen for these)
  • 200g mozzarella or vegan cheese
  • 1-2 tsp ground coriander (best if freshly done with coriander seed)
  • 1/3-1/2 tsp nutmeg, finely grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olilve oil
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

Pizza

  • 500g of strong white bread flour (or Typo ’00 flour)
  • 5g (1tsp) fast action yeast
  • 5g (1tsp) finely ground sea salt
  • 30g (1tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
  • 350g warm water (it’s best to weigh for accuracy)

Directions

Make the pizza dough first.

  1. Pop all the ingredients together in a bowl. You can use your hands, a food processor, or a stand mixer with dough hook. Mix the ingredients together until all the flour is wet and the ingredients are well incorporated. The dough will be sticky, which is good. The wetter dough helps you get a thinner base. Cover and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes.
  2. Then do a quick knead of the dough like this. Bring the top (North) of the dough to the middle. Then do the same with East, South and West parts. Then do North-East, South-East, South-West and North-West. I call this a ‘Compass Knead’. Cover again and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes.
  3. Then do another Compass Knead and leave, covered in a warm place for 10 minutes. Do one final Compass Knead and leave in a warm place for 30-50 minutes until the dough has risen by 50-100%.
  4. The dough is now ready to use. You can keep it in the fridge, covered until you need to use it.

While the dough is proving you can prepare the oca.

  1. Steam the oca for 5 minutes and allow to cool. If you don’t have a steamer improvise with a sieve or colander over a saucepan, or just put 5mm of boiling water into a pan and pop the oca in there, cook covered and then drain & cool. The vibrancy of the colors fades a little, this is to be expected.
  2. Cut the oca lengthwise in half.
  3. Now, assemble the pizza (your oven is preheated isn’t it? And if you need a heated oven tray, you’ve got that in too?).
  4. Get your oiled grease-proof paper or tinfoil ready. You may find that it’s easier to handle the dough if you oil your hands.
  5. Divide the dough in two. Make one of the parts of the dough into a rough flat disc with your hands and pop the other in the fridge, covered.

For the pizza

This quantity of dough makes enough for two 23cm (9 inch) pizzas. It’s not really worth doing any less. So make a second pizza with another topping, or cover and pop in the fridge to make a pizza or garlic bread the next day.

Warm Oca Salad, Oca Recipes, One Community

Warm Oca Salad

Recipe courtesy of: Permaculture Practical Solutions for Self Reliance


Total Time: 15 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: Chill
Yield: 4 Servings
Level: Easy

 

Ingredients

  • 400-500g oca, mixed colors if possible for visual interest.
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g anchovy fillets, drained if in oil
  • 3 plump cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • A small bunch of flat-leaved parsley, leaves picked and stalks reserved
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Grams to cups conversion

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Directions

  1. Cut the oca so that they are in approximately equal sized pieces. This is so they cook evenly.
  2. Chop the parsley stems finely and put to one side. Chop the parsley leaves finely and keep separate from the stems.
  3. Boil or steam the oca for about 10 minutes until there’s a give in the middle when you test them with a sharp knife. Strain the oca and leave to drain and air dry in a colander or sieve while you prepare the dressing in the pan you used to cook them. Make sure the pan is dry using a tea towel or over the hob heat.
  4. Add the olive oil and heat over a low-medium heat. You need the oil to warm the anchovies and garlic and not brown them.
  5. Add the anchovies, garlic, and parsley stems and cook gently stirring frequently until the anchovies have melted.

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