This page is an open source resource guide for mauka. It is for growing and maintaining the most bio-diverse, delicious, and broadly applicable mauka 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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The photos and varietal descriptions for mauka will be largely taken from Ben Kamm’s Sacred Succulents website. At this time we do not have any specific mauka varieties and will add them here when they become available from Sacred Succulents. 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.
Another high-elevation extremely hardy crop used for its edible stems and tubers, mauka is said to be the rarest of the group known as the ‘lost crops of the Incas’, and has only been rediscovered in the past five decades. Found in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, this species remains a rare find and is known as mauka, chago, and many other local names. No definite cultivars exist, but the plants are differentiated by their distinguishable root colors of white, yellow, and light orange.
Mauka is started from seed or vegetatively. There are distinct differences between the populations from Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, including flower color and degree of astringency. If planted from vegetative pieces, they should be planted in a trench and hilled up as they grow for best tuber production. Andean farmers intercrop with maize to form a better crumb structure in the soil, favorable to both crops. Mauka can grow with as little as 18” of rain annually, but increased moisture raises yields.
VIDEO COMING: Planting tutorial followed by time lapse growth videos
At this time we do not have any specific mauka varieties. We will add them here when they become available from Sacred Succulents.
We are seeking awesome mauka resources. If you know of one, please click here to share it with us so we can make this page better.
This section will evolve to include accessioning and plant breeding and sharing information as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model.
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.
Mauka should be sun-dried and boiled before eating because otherwise it tends to be irritating to mucus membranes. The cooking water makes a sweet drink and the leaves can be eaten raw in salads. When the root has been sun-dried its regular bitter taste will become sweet. A traditional way to prepare mauka is after the roots are boiled they can be mixed with toasted grain and honey. The stems can be edible but only if cooked long and slow.