Hog Peanut Tubers and Seeds


Amphicarpaea bracteata aka Ground Bean. Discover the versatility and rustic charm of these tubers that are an indigenous North American vine known for its dual-purpose edibility. These hardy legumes produce both above-ground beans and subterranean nuts, offering a unique blend of flavours similar to green peas and peanuts. Ideal for foraging enthusiasts and gardeners alike, these seeds can thrive in a variety of soil conditions, requiring minimal maintenance. Seed Packages contain 20 seeds. Orders of tubers come in packs of 5.

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Hog peanuts are a leguminous vine, part of the pea family, that grow low to the ground and can often be found in wooded areas, thickets, and along stream banks. The plant features trifoliate leaves (similar to other legumes) and small, delicate pink to white flowers during late summer to early fall.

Growth and Reproduction
One of the unique aspects of hog peanuts is their dual method of reproduction. They produce two types of flowers: typical above-ground flowers that are pollinated by insects, and self-fertilizing underground flowers that produce peanuts-like fruits or pods. These underground pods are what give the plant its common name, as they are favoured by foraging hogs and other wildlife.
These tubers are perennial plants. They return each year from the same roots and can spread through their seed production as well. This makes them a great choice for food secure gardens, as they can establish themselves over time and require minimal replanting once they are well-established in an appropriate habitat.

Edibility and Culinary Use
Both the above-ground beans and the subterranean nuts of the hog peanut are edible. The underground pods are more substantial and starchy, somewhat akin to a peanut in texture and flavour, though much smaller. They can be eaten raw, cooked, or roasted. The above-ground beans are smaller and can be used like green peas, cooked in a variety of dishes.

Nutritional Value
As a member of the legume family, hog peanuts are nutritious, offering a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber. They also contain various vitamins and minerals beneficial to health.

Foraging and Harvesting
Foraging for hog peanuts can be a rewarding activity but requires some effort, especially when digging for the underground pods. It’s essential to ensure you have permission to forage if you’re not on your own property and to correctly identify the plant to avoid confusion with other, potentially harmful species.

Hog peanuts are an excellent example of an underutilized native plant that offers both ecological benefits and potential food uses. Their adaptability to different soil types and low maintenance make them a fascinating plant for natural gardening and permaculture applications.

Growing hog peanuts (Amphicarpaea bracteata) can be a rewarding experience, especially for those interested in native plants and permaculture. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cultivate this unique plant:

1. Choosing a Planting Site
Soil Requirements: Hog peanuts prefer moist, well-drained soil. They are tolerant of a range of soil types but thrive best in soils rich in organic matter.
Light Requirements: They can grow in partial shade to full sun, but a partially shaded area that mimics their natural woodland habitat is ideal.
2. Planting
When to Plant: The best time to plant hog peanuts is in the spring after the threat of frost has passed.
How to Plant: If you are starting with seeds, it’s a good idea to scarify the seeds slightly and then soak them overnight to help break dormancy and encourage germination. Plant the seeds about 1 inch deep in the soil, spacing them a few inches apart. If you are planting tubers, plant them about 2 inches deep.
3. Watering
Water Needs: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Hog peanuts do well with regular watering, especially in dry conditions.
4. Support
Climbing Support: Since hog peanuts are vining plants, providing a structure like a trellis or allowing them to grow among other supportive plants can help manage their growth and mimic their natural growing conditions.
5. Fertilizing
Fertilizer Application: While not heavy feeders, applying a balanced organic fertilizer in the early growing season can promote healthier growth. As legumes, they can fix nitrogen in the soil, which reduces the need for high nitrogen fertilizers.
6. Maintenance
Weeding: Keep the area around the plants free from weeds, especially when the plants are young. Mulching can help suppress weeds and retain soil moisture.
Pest and Disease Management: Generally, hog peanuts are not susceptible to many pests or diseases. However, keeping an eye on plant health and practicing good cultural management will help prevent any potential issues.
7. Harvesting
When to Harvest: The underground tubers and above-ground seeds can be harvested in the late summer or fall when the above-ground parts of the plant begin to die back.
How to Harvest: Carefully dig around the plant to extract the tubers and collect the seed pods.
8. Winter Care
Overwintering: In colder climates, the plant will die back to the ground but can re-emerge from the roots in the spring. Mulching over the winter can help protect the roots from freezing temperatures.

Here are some ways to incorporate them into your meals:

1. Hog Peanut Soup
Ingredients: Underground peanuts, onion, garlic, vegetable broth, cream, salt, and pepper.
Preparation: Sauté onions and garlic until translucent, add peeled and diced underground peanuts, and cook until soft. Add vegetable broth and simmer until everything is tender. Blend until smooth, return to heat, add cream, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

2. Roasted Hog Peanuts
Ingredients: Underground peanuts, olive oil, salt, and your choice of herbs.
Preparation: Clean the underground peanuts thoroughly and pat dry. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and herbs (such as rosemary or thyme). Spread on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated oven at 375°F until crispy on the outside and tender inside, about 20-30 minutes. These make a great snack or side dish.

3. Hog Peanut Stir-Fry
Ingredients: Above-ground beans, bell peppers, onions, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
Preparation: Heat sesame oil in a pan, add minced garlic and chopped onions, and sauté until fragrant. Add sliced bell peppers and above-ground beans, and stir-fry until the vegetables are tender. Splash some soy sauce over the top and serve hot with rice.

4. Hog Peanut Hummus
Ingredients: Cooked underground peanuts, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and paprika.
Preparation: Blend cooked underground peanuts (prepared similarly to chickpeas in traditional hummus) with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and paprika. Serve with vegetable sticks or flatbread.

5. Hog Peanut Salad
Ingredients: Cooked above-ground beans, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Preparation: Combine cooked and cooled above-ground beans with mixed greens, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and diced red onion in a large bowl. Crumble feta cheese over the top. Dress with olive oil and vinegar, then season with salt and pepper.

These seeds/tubers are available directly from Garden Faerie Botanicals in the heart of British Columbia, Canada. The collection features heirloom and heritage seeds that are personally cultivated organically without the use of any chemicals. Emphasizing historical, rare, non-GMO seeds, this selection preserves biodiversity through open-pollination.


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