Monday, August 10, 2015

andean tubers and microclimate

potatoes are genetically diverse and there are thousands of varieties that are adapted to some specific climates that the andes mountains provide from spuds that can tolerate dry conditions at the foot of the mountains to tubers that produce gylcoalkaloids as antifreeze at high altitudes ( and must be freeze dried to remove the poisonous alkaloids before eating ) so there may be good reason why the ollala potato in the first two photos produced such small tubers ( including the fact that they were on a shadier end of the patch ) and the german butterballs not three feet away produced some normal sized may be the shade was the culprit but the butterballs got shade as the day progressed as well...didn't seem to impact them that adversely...i have ollalas in containers in the sun on the south side of the house...i see them as a fair comparison when they come in...meanwhile these small spuds are destined to be seed potatoes and i am willing to wager they find their way under the lights next winter...other andean tuber are thriving...the yacon in the fourth and fifth photos are looking robust as is the mashua in the last...comparison coming up as soon as the spuds tell me they're ready.

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