Monday, 12 December 2011

Grand Theft Oca !

Yesterday this tray contained about 700 true Oca seeds, ...

... the culmination of a season's painstaking hand-pollination and collection. Today it contains two seeds and a few shriveled seed capsules.
They were undergoing their final drying, sitting 'safely' on a table in my work room.  I was planning to offer most of them for distribution or swapping.
Given that there were no signs of breaking and entry, and that no-one in the house has a history of sleepwalking, I was left with the possibility of...  ...Hmmm, there had been rumours of a mouse in the house for a while now.  It didn't seem very likely that it could have climbed the stairs, then the smooth painted steel table, ignored rows of farinaceous delicacies such as dried heritage peas and assorted tubers without giving them a nibble, then polishing off all those seeds in one sitting.
But there was no other possibility,  so it's a job for Little Nipper and a tahini-smeared raisin. The penalty for this crime is death!

Bingo. One rather well-fed mouse! I did seriously consider an autopsy to recover the stolen goods, but I think they would already be mouse droppings by now.

He did leave two seeds, and there are a few more from a final batch of pods yet to ripen, so I'm not quite wiped out, but this is still a massively disappointing setback,

...and another lesson learned.


  1. I am sorry to hear that. Naughty naughty mouse. They are awful. You might look for a nest, one year they took all my pea seeds and hid them in the piano.

    Fingers crossed for the remaining pods.

  2. 'Naughty' was not the word I used!!

  3. What? You have mice that prefer seeds over tubers? We're trying to breed plants here, not seed eating mice...Try and sow the mouse, but I'm afraid no ocas will come out of this.
    It's a true shame, all these seeds lost, I would have been really mad as well, those ...animals