Chinese Water Chestnut
This popular Asian cooking ingredient is a tropical member of the sedge family. These nutritious underground corms reach up to 4cm in diameter, and have an appealing crisp nut like texture.
They can be lightly steamed or sauteed as a vegetable, or can deliver their sweetness and juiciness prepared fresh and raw. Water chestnuts can be grown in a pond, an old bathtub. or a salvaged water tank cut in half.
Plant the corms in spring, about 5cm deep into friable soil rich in organic matter and course sand. Keep the plants moist until the shoots are about 10cm tall, then cover with water until the tips of the leaves are just showing. Leave the container flooded at that depth for about 6-7 months, then drain off the water in late autumn.
Leave the soil moist but not wet for another month or so until the shoots die down, then harvest the water chestnuts.