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Oca in Sydney?

    37 responses

TMary starts with ...
Bought some last weekend and tried it for the first time - delicious! I have a few small ones left and am wondering if I should plant them or just eat them. Anyone growing them near the CBD in Sydney?
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TMary
Neutral Bay NSW
17th July 2014 6:24am
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sternus1 says...
I'll buy them from you if they're going. Been trying to get some for Donkey's.
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sternus1
Australia
17th July 2014 6:54am
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MaryT1 says...
What you see on that plate is all I have left, Sternus1. I plan to eat the bigger ones and plant the smaller ones and see what happens. I bought them from an organic farmer at North Sydney markets last Saturday. If he's there again this weekend I will see if he has more; ie if I make it there.
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MaryT1
Sydney
17th July 2014 8:31am
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sternus1 says...
Thanks Mary, I appreciate it.

They are delicious, and there is a purple variety which is very scarce and hard to come by.
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sternus1
Australia
17th July 2014 9:03am
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Julie says...
What do they taste like? Never eaten them.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
17th July 2014 6:46pm
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MaryT1 says...
Julie, it's a root vegetable like carrot so you can eat it raw (crisp and juicy) or cooked; I much prefer them cooked. They're more like a firm potato (not starchy) then with a citrus note. Tastier than most potatoes.
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MaryT1
Sydney
18th July 2014 6:31am
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Julie says...
I have a vague idea they are OK for diabetics. Am I right?

Keen to try some, but would have to come from WA - no hope otherwise.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
18th July 2014 7:58pm
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sternus1 says...
prickly pear has been proven to help with diabetes.
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sternus1
Australia
18th July 2014 8:04pm
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MaryT1 says...
Julie I have not heard about the diabetic claim. I guess ocas might be lower in carbohydrates than potatoes; not sure. Managing diabetes is about portion control; you can eat anything but some things must be in smaller doses, that's all.

I am sure it is already in WA.
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MaryT1
Sydney
19th July 2014 7:28am
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Original Post was last edited: 19th July 2014 7:28am
Julie says...
"I am sure it is already in WA."

Mary, I meant I hope there is a member in WA who has it. Never seen it on sale, and the Asian grocery is a fair way to go.Is that a more likely place to find it?
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Julie
Roleystone WA
19th July 2014 9:29am
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MaryT1 says...
Julie this forum is as good a place as any to find the oca in WA :) Anyone? It is not Asian so I doubt if they're in Asian stores.
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MaryT1
Sydney
19th July 2014 9:32am
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MaryT1 says...
No oca did I see at North Sydney Produce Market today.
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MaryT1
Sydney
19th July 2014 12:54pm
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Julie says...
I got a fast reply from an email I sent today re oca - Michele has visited the forum, but not for a while.

"Oca is one I and many have tried but it will not grow well here (it is daylight sensitive and hates the summer), and will not produce tubers or only a few tiny ones. So I gave up. Even down in Bunbury (and Albany) it will not set tubers successfully, but in Pemberton it will. It is also not easily available, Charles Otway brought some to a WA Seed Savers swap meet last year but that was the last I heard and those growing it here failed of course. So not able to help with that sorry."

So I won't pursue that one. I haven't the patience any more for plants that are too difficult.

This is Michele's garden on Gardening Australia:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKhi1B2GCRg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILY5lzak8cg
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Julie
Roleystone WA
19th July 2014 6:55pm
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Original Post was last edited: 19th July 2014 6:53pm
Linton says...
Yes, you are right, Ocas are hard to grow in our climate in Melbourne or Perth and do not like hot summers. That's why they are mostly grown in Tasmania where large and juicy ones are produced.

I planted some Tasmania Ocas last year and have just harvested them. The yield was very disappointing. They were tiny and there were less produced than I originally planted.

May I suggest you try tropical potatoes from Indonesia and Africa which would definitely grow well in WA if you can find a source of them.

I am about to harvest some Black Potatoes, Plectranthus rotundifolius (see pic), which is supposed to taste better and is easier to grow than Livingstone Potato, P.esculentus.

Cheers!
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Linton
Springvale, Vic
21st July 2014 11:13am
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MaryT1 says...
That looks super good, Linton - are those curry leaves? I don't really have room for root vegetables but thought I'd grow some oca just for the pretty leaves.
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MaryT1
Sydney
21st July 2014 11:22am
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Linton says...
Hi Mary

Sorry I don't know what the leaves are as the picture is from the web of a dish of Plectranthus Indian potatoes.

I hope mine will turn out like that once I harvest and cook them too! BTW, I'm growing them in pots so they don't take up much room.
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Linton
Springvale, Vic
21st July 2014 1:22pm
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Original Post was last edited: 21st July 2014 1:21pm
MaryT1 says...
I'm sure they're curry leaves then, Linton.
Growing in pots is what I do but finding room for pots is not easy around here, especially a space with sun.
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MaryT1
Sydney
21st July 2014 2:13pm
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Julie says...
Linton, I have three varieties of ornamental plectranthus. I had no idea there were edible varieties.

But I haven't a hope of getting any in WA.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
21st July 2014 7:12pm
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denise1 says...
There is a plectranthus tomentosa from SE Asia called Vicks plant in NZ, used as leaf rub same as Vicks. I only found out it was edible when a customer starting picking leaves and eating them as she did in SE Asia.
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denise1
auckland NZ
22nd July 2014 7:18am
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BenW says...
I surprised oca don't do well for you in Melbourne Linton. 50km away with a bit of elevation I get buckets of them - one of the most productive things I grow.

Currently only red ones but will see if I can get some other colours to grow next year.

I would grow them for the leaves even if they didn't yield much. Very tasty and succulent in a salad, like most in the oxalis family.
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BenW
Kinglake West,3757,VIC
22nd July 2014 3:32pm
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Linton says...
Just harvested the Indian Potatoes.

Yes, Mary, they are curry leaves on the dish above as I checked the recipe.

I have just harvested the Plectranthus rotundifolius potatoes in the pictures below. Unfortunately there's not enough for eating although they do look and smell good, but I will need them for replanting and hopefully get a bigger crop next season.

I wasn't sure if they would grow down here being a tropical species but found they were very easy with little care required.
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Linton
Springvale, Vic
18th August 2014 4:58pm
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MaryT1 says...
Maybe you should eat one to see if they're any good :)
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MaryT1
Sydney
18th August 2014 6:10pm
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Linton says...
Here are some purple Oca's from Parkmore last week, now on their way to Sternus.

Please leave them in the sunlight for 1 or 2 weeks so they become suitable for eating. Enjoy!
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Linton
Springvale, Vic
22nd September 2014 9:27am
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TMary says...
Thanks for the reminder Linton ; I must rescue mine from the crisper and plant them! Lucky Sternus to be getting that haul.
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TMary
Neutral Bay NSW
22nd September 2014 9:41am
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sternus1 says...
I'm a happy bird.

Linton is getting Zills mangoes in return ;)
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sternus1
Australia
22nd September 2014 10:11am
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Bincy says...
Where can I get the planting material of Plectranthus rotundifolius (did you plant the stems or tubers? Well, it can be grown from both.) I have been searching for the planting material. Are there any shops/market where we get fresh tubers of this potato (Plectranthus rotundifolius /koorkka)?
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Bincy
Fairfield
14th January 2015 2:15pm
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Linton says...
Hi Bincy

About the Indian potatoes, you can grow Plectranthus rotundifolius from cuttings, tubers or seeds but all are hard to find here, so it's best to look for seeds overseas as I'm sure that tubers would not be permitted entry.

I grew some easily from cuttings from my existing plants last year but left it too late in the season for them to develop any "potatoes" before winter. I guess that's because they are a tropical "potato" so need the heat.

The ones in the pictures I am growing from last seasons crop of tubers so I should be harvesting them around end of winter and may be able to give you a few at that time.
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Linton
Springvale, Vic
16th January 2015 8:38pm
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Bincy says...
Thank you. This picture makes me homesick. We had it in our home in India. I have been searching in ebay for plants or tubers, but could not find any so far. I would be happy with a cutting.
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Bincy
Fairfield
24th January 2015 9:48pm
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Linton says...
Hi Bincy

please put your email or send me a message so I can send you a cutting of the Koorkka - Indian Potato.

Are you in Fairfield Melbourne or Sydney?
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Linton
Springvale, Vic
30th January 2015 8:08pm
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Fay says...
Hi Linton,
I've been looking for Plectranthus rotundifolius for years. I've never seen the seeds for sale but see the tubers for sale occasionally on overseas' websites....very frustrating!

I grow many tuber plants (my oca produces small crops if grown in semi shade and reasonably damp soil). I've got about 25 different edible tuber type plants.
Could I please buy a tuber or seeds or a plant from you? There might even be one of my plants that you might like to swap.
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Fay
Toowoomba
22nd March 2015 3:13pm
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Linton says...
Hi Fay

Yes, Plectranthus rotundifolius should grow very well in Queensland as Koorka is a somewhat delicious tropical "potato" suitable for growing in warmer climates. I've just moved the plants into a raised garden bed as they were outgrowing the pots they were in.

Didn't see any tubers forming on them when I transplanted them but it's probably still too early. Last year I harvested the tubers in August after the plants had died back. You can see pictures of those tubers which were produced in my post above on 18th August.

I don't usually sell plants but I'm happy to send you a small plant at the moment or can send tubers more easily in August, whichever you prefer. They are very easy to grow from tubers and it would be good to have someone else growing them just in case something happens to my plants.

Please send me your postal address to lintonius at hotmail.com. Cheers!
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Linton
Springvale, Vic
22nd March 2015 4:40pm
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Fay says...
Hi Linton,
Thank you so very much. I've replied by email and I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
I just can't tell you how excited I am that someone in Australia actually has this plant and is willing to share! I hope there's something I'm growing that you'll be interested in that I can send to you.
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Fay
Toowoomba
23rd March 2015 10:47am
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Linton says...
Hi Fay

I got your message thanks. I have sent one small plant to you now but if it doesn't work for you I'll be sending some tubers up in August.

Attached is a picture taken from Wikipedia of Koorka being cultivated in India (probably around Kerala).

I too am excited to see that you are living in Toowoomba as you may be able to help me find a plant which grows there. For a long time I have sought a little known special kind of fruit/plant that only comes from around Toowoomba! Cheers!
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Linton
Springvale, Vic
23rd March 2015 8:39pm
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Fay says...
Hi Linton,
You have me intrigued....a fruit plant that only grows around here? I'm always on the lookout for native fruits and edible plants around here so I can't wait to see which one you mean. I don't give up easy either, so if it's here, I'll find it.
I'm looking forward to the search!!

That's a large plot of Koorka! It looks like raised plots work best.
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Fay
Toowoomba
24th March 2015 8:44am
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Original Post was last edited: 24th March 2015 8:42am
Linton says...
Koorka has flowers now!

The Indian Potatoes are flowering now so they should be just about ready to harvest. Last year they had no flowers but I harvested the "potatoes" in August also.

Cheers!
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Linton
Springvale, Vic
9th August 2015 8:21pm
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Linton says...
Koorka "Indian Potatoes" harvested today!

Just dug up the Plectranthus plants which yielded a small harvest of "potatoes" similar to last year. These will be used for replanting again next season but need to work out how extend their growing season for them to produce a larger crop.

They would probably do better in more tropical climates. Cheers!
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Linton
Springvale, Vic
26th August 2015 6:25pm
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MS JOHN says...
I have got koorkka (Plectranthus) plants at home. I brought seeds from India. It grows well here. I sold them to Indian shops too.
If someone need it please let me know
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MS JOHN
Parramatta
17th December 2015 7:28am
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Original Post was last edited: 17th December 2015 7:34am
fon42 says...
Hi looking for those Plectranthus rotundifolius if anyone has seeds tubers or cuttings that wouldd be great..........daylength may be an issue so breed from seed to find what works at yr lattitude thanks :)
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fon42
TOOTGAROOK
8th December 2016 8:23pm
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