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This popular Asian cooking ingredient is a tropical member of the sedge family. These nutritious underground corms reaching up to 4cm in diameter have an appealing crisp nut like texture. They can be cooked as a vegetable offering a contrasting texture to many dishes or they can deliver their sweetness and juiciness prepared fresh and raw or lightly steamed or sauteed for salads Water chestnuts can be grown in a pond of a container, an old bathtub or a salvaged water tank cut in half are ideal options. Plant the corms in spring, about 5cm deep into friable soil preferably rich in organic matter and course sand. Keep the plants moist until the shoots are about 10cm tall, then fill the container up with water until it's about 10cm deep, with the tips of the leaves 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. Water chestnuts will grow in most areas of Australia, but they are frost tender and require at least an 8-month frost-free growing season. A single corm is said to be able to produce 100 corms within a growing season!