Found another small Black Truffle on top of the duff just before we got some snow. There are still new holes showing up and still no dog to see if there are more than just a few truffles each year.
Covered the tea plants in the orchard with buckets for a couple nights when we expected snow. Although the forecast didn't show any extremely low temps, we thought it best to take precautions. It was likely unnecessary.
We decided to trial a few crops that supposedly do well in the Pacific Northwest but are not common or mainstream crops. Our interest started with Andean tubers after reading a bit about them from some articles on sorrel. Sorrel is native to our forests (some variety native almost everywhere!) and we always have an interest in native plants. It turns out one variety is well known for its tubers and is a staple in parts of the Andes and known as Oca. We found a grower in Washington and purchased a few to try out along with three other somewhat unusual tubers (bottom center four bags in the picture) that included Mashua, Ulluco and Yacon.
The Yacon flavor description was particularly interesting: like a cross between an apple or pear and watermelon, with maybe a hint of celery.
We also started some Agretti, an Italian grass-like succulent sometimes used to make sauces used with fish and Scorzonera which is a tuber that has been described as tasting a bit like oysters!
In addition, we bought a few wasabi plants from a local Oregon producer (top left of pic above). They arrive as bare-root plants in a chilled container. We planted them in small (smaller than suggested) pots before seeing if we could keep them alive, and deciding where to make their permanent home. They like a lot of water and we have a year-round creek so we are hoping we can find an area to place them where they will be protected from too cold winters ... sensing a theme?