What are ocas?Ocas (Oxalis tuberosa), grown commercially in New Zealand where it is known as Yam, is a tuber root crop from the Andes where it is a staple food, second only to potatoes.
Ocas belong to the Wood sorrel family.
Why grow ocas?They are very easy to grow, give good yields, and are delicious to eat. And they even make a nice decorative border, with lots of flowers in late summer and early autumn!
They are still relatively unknown in Europe and are not grown commercially outside their native Andes, except in New Zealand, but this is starting to change. Dennis Cotter, of Cafe Paradisio fame, gives a few recipes for them in his last book "Wild garlic, gooseberies... and me", so they are a good crop to start growing now.
They store very well throughout the winter. Tubers left on a shelf in a shed were still perfectly edible in April, and grew when planted.
They are desease free, and you can save your own tuber seeds from year to year.