But where to get any in Australia? As with so many obscure medicinal and culinary herbs and vegetables here the only supplier was Isabell Shipard in Nambour, Queensland. In the winter of 2010 I bought various species from Isabell and American Ground Nut was one of them. Out of the package she sent down was a small forestry tube with no foliage. As Ground Nut are deciduous this was OK and when I potted this specimen on the small ground nut itself was revealed. I lived in a flat at the time which was incredibly cosy and warm in winter with a large north facing window which let in lots of sunshine. (I really hate to think what it was like during our recent heatwave - it truly was hellish in summer.) Plants took off early on the window sill and the Ground Nut emerged quickly with a thin shoot.
This single specimen was planted at Sophia's garden and established itself quite well over the growing season. In autumn 2011 I dug up a few small ground nuts all growing along the roots like balls on a string and felt reasonably happy with this, thinking that these could form the basis of one of these ''colonies'' that Eric Toensmeir and others talked about. Given the relatively small size I thought that over time I could create enough plants to have a kind of novelty foraging zone with some tasty tubers but not a serious crop.
But then in spring of that year I noticed those thin emergent shoots of ground nut popping up everywhere at Sophia's, metres from where the original plant had gone in. I carefully transplanted these to my garden and over 2011-2012 these plants grew very strongly producing much bigger and more prolific tubers that I found delicious and a much more serious crop than I had ever anticipated. The better growth is attributable to the clay loam here in Alphington which retains moisture for much longer than the sandy loam of Armadale. For 2012-2013 I established a line of bamboo poles for the ground nuts and they produced a bumper crop with large, potato sized tubers.