Just harvested the first apios americana tubers.
Also known as the groundnut or potato bean this curious vegetable is a legume and shade- tolerant climber that produces strings of edible tubers up to about 2″ long:
I bought my original pea-sized tubers from the ART in Devon two years ago and grew them up a support made of reinforcing iron bar threaded through alcethene pipe and pushed into the ground; you can then easily tie wire mesh onto the hoops which stand about 2m high. The apios had been sorely neglected and were competing for both root space and space on the wire with a vigorous climbing berry. I didn’t harvest any last year, it is recommended to give them 2-3 years to get established- the tubers grow away and you can harvest at any time of the year, which is quite an advantage.
Oikos Tree Crops in the States supply larger varieties- but the cost of a plant passport to import them is expensive (which is why I havn’t done so yet.)
I saved most of the little tubers and ate about half a dozen of the larger ones- cooked for 15 minutes, tastes like potatoes with a nice nutty flavour. Quite exciting to finally get a small harvest of this promising crop- apparently with 15% protein content. Will definitely grow more next year and take more care of them! This might also be something that you could establish on the forest garden edge to climb into trees.