Friday, April 2, 2010

Known botanically as Canavalia ensiformis, this annual tropical vine LEAPS into growth once the humid heat settles in, soon covered with lush leaves, beautiful blooms (VERY fragrant in the morning) and then those amazingly giant tender "bean" pods that, when cooked, taste much like a good Romano bean. Raw they contain low levels of the same cyanogenic glucossides found in other raw tropical crops like Cassava ("yuca" on Cuban menus), chaya, lima beans and more, but just a few minutes of cooking eliminates them. ( I now consider those compounds to actually be a dietary source of nitrogen, plus cyanide itself is a building block of our own DNA!). The vines are too strong for your average trellis.....plant your seeds in rich soil and in full sun by a chain link fence, or something similarly strong. For $4 and a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope, you will get 10 seeds of this rare edible crop. Be sure to let a few pods ripen and turn tan and dry each fall to insure you have seeds from now on. Crops like this one that LOVE summers here are one reason my gardens are productive year round, whereas so many folks think there are no true summer crops here and thus let their gardens lie fallow and unproductive half the year. My address is: John Starnes 3212 West Paxton Avenue Tampa FL 33611

1 comment:

  1. farmers in Indonesia are also growing canavalia ensiformis, can grow well,
    please visit