Drat the BBC weather forecast!
4ºC was the forecasted minimum last night. I believed them, but they got it wrong. The Oca bed looks pretty well devastated.
...or at least the outermost ones. Those lower down seem to have survived damage, and I think the plants will recover.
This bed of Ulluco has been flattened too.
The only Andean to be unaffected is the Mashua, which is nonchalantly preparing to flower.
This is a freakily early frost for this area, and the situation is all the more annoying because I have rolls of mesh ready-and-waiting to give protection.
At first sight all seemed lost. But when I carefully lifted up some of the slaughtered Oca foliage, the optimist in me could see less-damaged stems underneath. I think they may live. Fingers crossed.
More checking revealed that the Oca in the 'all-tuber polyculture mound' have been protected, albeit sacrificially, by the yacon foliage. Free-range Oca on 'the other plot' are also alive and well, protected by their close polyculture competitor/companions.
This scare got me thinking. If it had been one degree colder, and all the Oca were killed this early in the year, they probably would not tuberise, and I'd be left with no seed tubers for next year. If the cold snap were to be geographically widespread, it might be very hard to find replacements. Does anyone keep Oca tubers dormant in cool-storage as an insurance policy against this sort of situation?
Not me, but maybe I should.