The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › I found groundnuts growing in the wild and was blown away !

I found groundnuts growing in the wild and was blown away !

Larry
guildl
Sudbury, MA
Post #: 44
I went for a walk on Saturday evening and was looking at plants and I found a patch of groundnut growing less than 1/4 of a mile down the street from my land ! I could hardly believe it and was totally blown away because ground nut seems to be a pretty rare plant in most places from my experience and to find some so close by was like a confirmation that there is a higher power ..

It was growing mixed in with other plants in an area about 75 feet on the side of the road that got plenty of sun. I transplanted some 12 plants to my land to add to the other 12 or so from seeds and tubers I ordered online. I cooked some up as well .. I looked down the road quite a ways but saw no other signs of any other patches of groundnut. I am encouraged to keep looking, but it is my impression that it is not a very common plant.

I had mixed in some peat and some sand from my driveway in many places where I planted the groun nuts as some of the plants I had put out there did not seem to do well previously and I noticed books says it likes sand or peat. I think I should maybe plant more buckwheat or something to help improve the soil which may be claylike in many places and my neighbor says the soils is clay in our area. Other ideas ? If I could improve parts of the soil on a large scale that might be easier than trucking in sand or something if I want to grow bigger areas of ground nut.. What about soybean and mustard ? I have some of that that was sold as ground cover type plants ..

Check out this article that gives you an idea of the potential of groundnut. It makes me wonder if groundnut is another plant that has been suppressed to give the impression that self sustainability from the land via permaculture etc is not really possible and why alot of people (including farmers and people who work at greenhouses) think permaculture seems like a loony idea :



http://www.masslive.c...­

Groundnuts helped the Pilgrims make it through their first winter, thanks to an American Indian cache that Miles Standish discovered (it also included corn).

Cranberries and turkeys get top billing at the Thanksgiving table, but the true hero of this holiday is the lowly groundnut, botanically Apios americana, a food you've probably never heard of.

Americans Indians enjoyed groundnuts and introduced them to the Pilgrims. Groundnuts helped the Pilgrims make it through their first winter, thanks to an American Indian cache that Miles Standish discovered (it also included corn).

The Pilgrims realized the value of groundnuts and in 1654 issued an edict ordering that "if an Indian dug Groundnuts on English land, he was to be set in stocks, and for a second offense, be whipped." Perhaps American Indians should not have told the Pilgrims about groundnuts in the first place.

So why didn't the groundnut queue up along with turkey and cranberries for Thanksgiving fame? Perhaps it was the inherently weedy nature of this plant, which has grown wild for centuries throughout the eastern United States as far west as Colorado. American Indians never really cultivated this plant; they merely encouraged it, then reaped harvests. Even today, groundnuts are a common weed in - of all places - cranberry bogs!

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Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 1,848
Apios is a really important "perennial vegetable" that we should be appreciating and encouraging. Indeed it can provide an enormous amount of nutrition for humans.

I have some that I've brought into my landscape for propagation purposes and, hopefully, sharing in the future.

Also check out the Apios Institute, worth all of our support and participation.
http://apiosinstitute...­
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 765
Groundnuts are on my list of things I still need. I know where some grow but haven't been able to get there yet.

David
Larry
guildl
Sudbury, MA
Post #: 45

Hi Lisa, that web site looks interesting .. a food forest place down here in holyoke mass as well. It looks like a permaculture site named apios not specific to ground nut ..

If anyone has any clues on where to look for wild groundnut, certain river bottoms or what not, please clue me in if possible. I am bringing my bicycle up to my land so I can go out on the road and look for more wild plants.
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 766
Larry,

You ought to visit. You will see how I have a food forest without buying much at greenhouses etc. at all. If you have a lot of woods, that is where you should shop.

David
Larry
guildl
Sudbury, MA
Post #: 46

Hi David,

I may be passing through sometime on Sunday, but I may not be online much between now and then ..

I have been coming up to Maine nearly once a week until I find a new job.

On Thursday, I stopped for an ice cream in the Belgrade lakes and suddenly a big hail storm erupted and dented up my car. It is not a new car luckily. I then headed up some back roads and managed to find another patch of wild ground nuts on the side of the road ..

David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 767
215 2622
zengeos
zengeos
Gorham, ME
Post #: 499
hmm...I wonder how they will do in my bramble overgrown area? Did some major cutting of the brambles out back....might like to retain one small area of the brambles...if I can keep them better contained, but groundnuts sound like an interesting addition to the mix... They add a major nutritional source where my forest area currently has a deficit.
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 868
Larry,

Thanks for sending the groundnut tubers. They seem to be growing fine. They were sprouting in the package. I have some in the ground and some in a windowbox.

David
A former member
Post #: 661
Here is an informative article...and delightful!

http://www.orionmagaz...­
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