Sunday, September 23, 2012

Busy Chitting


I have been everso busy recently, chitting the oca. Chitting, for non gardeners, is the process of exposing tubers to light so that they sprout a bit before planting them so they grow quicker and are less likely to rot in the cold spring ground. It is very complicated. You put them on something airy so they won't rot (wicker basket excellent). You find somewhere light but secluded to leave them, so that cats and children won't play with them, and husbands won't throw them away, thinking they are on the way to the compost. Top of the laundry cupboard, perfect. Then you wait.

And this is absolutely the crucial step. You now have a window of opportunity to do nothing that you don't want to, as in:

Child: Mum, can you iron my terribly complicated tartan kilt with all the pleats that only a complete sadist would include as part of the school uniform?
Me: (lying on the couch reading an Agatha Christie novel) Sorry darling, can't, I 'm too busy chitting the oca.

School Mum: You know there's a P&F meeting on Thursday night, we need to have all hands on deck for the school fair.
Me: Oh, I'd love to, but I have to chit the oca.
School Mum: Does it take long?
Me: Yes, weeks sometimes, I'm terribly behind with it, so sorry....

Of course, you could chit potatoes too, but oca sounds more exotic. Oca is also called the New Zealand yam, but is really a form of oxalis. I buy it from the green grocer in its short season, and eat some and plant some. Some people like to roast them, but I prefer to slice them thinly into stir fries.

And chit them.

5 comments:

e / dig in said...

chittign the oca sounds soooooooooo time consuming. no time for ordinary housework or chores. i need to get some!

e / dig in said...

Hey Jo,
Just to let you know I have listed you on my blog :-) let me know if you don't want to appear.

Jo said...

Hey e, honoured! And I highly recommend both oca and chitting...

GretchenJoanna said...

Do oca rot more easily than potatoes? I haven't ever heard of doing this with potatoes, but it may be a climate thing. I'm surprised, but glad for you, that your spring planting hasn't gotten furious yet - is this the calm before the storm?
I'm always for any excuse to stay home and mind the farm - or just the oca.

Jo said...

Our springs are so long and wet that it is prudent to get everything as close to sprouting as possible before planting. I also sprout pea seeds before popping them in the ground.

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