Babylon has cream coloured tubers. The photos don’t do the size justice as the one plant that I grew this year was not looked after and as it is a new variety I don’t know how big the tubers will get if looked after better.
The tubers become sweetish after storage (around 10 days of storage before using) and have a starchy, sweet flavour after cooking. Oca do not need to be peeled, just wash and cook. They are usually roasted until soft and served, split, with butter but can also be microwaved.
All oca tubers can also be eaten raw after storing long enough to dehydrate until wrinkly. They are sweet and are similar to dried fruit.
Oca should be grown under shade as they can’t cope with Australian heat and sun in summer. Plant the tubers around 30cm apart in late September and cover with some straw mulch. They will sprout when they are ready so don’t worry if they are a bit late. Plant about 10cm deep in loose soil that won’t get waterlogged over winter.
Water regularly. In late summer the plants will fall over, this is normal so don’t worry or disturb them.
In late autumn the plants will begin to develop tubers. Leave the plants alone (except for watering or weeding) until they die down fully close to winter. As the plants die down the tubers put on their most weight.
When the plants have died down dig up the tubers and place in a bowl or bucket. Separate the tubers that you are going to replant and place them in a plant pot and cover with potting soil or coir, leaving it in a shady place where it will be rained on over the winter. If they start sprouting too early in spring it is ok, you can plant them out or just leave them in the pot until you are ready to plant them.
The tubers you are going to eat should be placed in your garage or house and left for about 10 days or more during which time they will sweeten. They can then be used. You can leave the tubers you are not eating straight away in a bowl or in the crisper of your fridge.
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