There are a lot of plants in my garden (not as many as my mother’s garden, but still, a lot), and these plants don’t often get to be noticed by anyone other than me. So I thought I would start a series of posts that introduce the plants I manage to grow in my garden, despite animal depredation, insect attack, serious neglect and outright attack with a mower or whipper snipper.
First in the line up is the Madagascar bean; a perennial , sub-tropical lima bean. I planted 5 seeds in toilet paper rolls in the Summer and planted out the sweet little seedlings about three weeks later. I chose a spot in the Hugelkultur garden that would let the beans climb on the fence and would eventually give shade to a couple of beds for planting lettuce and silverbeet in the hot summer months. Little did I know that the plants grow like Jack’s beanstalk and look likely to take over the whole vegetable garden roof area. I think that I will be doing a lot of pruning next Spring to keep some growing areas in the sun.
Apparently the seeds can be eaten when young as a broad bean substitute (steamed or boiled) and the dried beans can be used anywhere dried beans can be used (soaked, cooked and put into soups, stews, burgers, casserole, etc). My vines have pods, and I am now waiting around impatiently (checking my watch, sighing, pacing a little) for them to form beans so I can try to trick my partner into believing I have grown broad beans for him (he doesn’t know what the plant looks like anyway). I am becoming a big fan of perennial vegetables, I think I will seek out a few more.
6 thoughts on “Plants in the garden- Madagascar beans”
I love perennial vegetables, and I’m intrigued by those Madagascar beans. I’ve tried other limas which didn’t survive our extremely hot & humid summers – I wonder if these Madagascar limas would. Hmmm…
They seem to be better at coping with heat and humidity. If it weren’t for the laws against posting biological s I could send you some.
This company has reasonable shipping rates.
Great, I’ll see if any place is selling them in this country, and if I can’t find them I’ll try that company. Thanks!
No problem. I did a quick search for US suppliers but couldn’t find any.
Cool ! I like your gardening tips 🙂
Thanks, I do appreciate my garden. It gives me a little island of peace in the general chaos.