This past summer I had the chance to talk with an old friend of mine, Hamado Tapsoba, who I hadn’t seen in 15 years. We had gone to graduate school together, but after graduation he headed back to Burkina Faso, and I headed up to Minnesota. Anyway, while we were talking I told him that we were growing peanuts at the University (yes, I tell everybody — peanut news needs to be shared!). When I told him some of the problems that we had with shorter seasons he asked why we weren’t growing Bambara groundnuts. The answer was that I didn’t know what the heck Bambara groundnuts were. Well, it turns out that these nuts are native to Western Africa and grow under the surface of the soil just like peanuts. The reason Hamado recommended them to me was that they can have a growing cycle shorter than peanuts. They can also be cooked like peanuts and have a flavor somewhat similar to chickpeas (or so I’m told). I’ve had an incredible amount of difficulty finding Bambara in the US though I know that at one time they were grown here. We have found a researcher in Burkina Faso who is willing to work with us, but that will probably take some time to get going. Does anyone out there know about Bambara? Especially where to buy plants or seed?) It sounds like an exciting plant to work with.