Thursday, June 24, 2010

African Jack Bean Plants for Sale

FIVE available as of Thursday, June 24.

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. 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....expect vine growth of 8-12 feet. 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. When young and tender and stringless, the pods can be cooked whole like a giant Romano bean. In late summer, when the green pods get tough and plump up with the big fat lima bean-like seeds inside, I like to brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and garlic powder, and cook them in their jackets on a covered barbecue grille, to eat as finger food as you would fresh edamame soy beans...friends agree...the taste and texture is very close to an excellent butter bean. Be sure to let a few pods ripen and turn tan and dry each fall to save the seeds for the next summer season.
I have 5 plants in 1 gallon pots for $5 each on glass tables near my front porch. Please use my Honor System to slip your cash through the payment slot in my red office door on my front patio. The address is: 3212 West Paxton Avenue Tampa FL 33611, about 6 blocks south of Gandy and 1 1/2 blocks west of MacDill, jungly yard on south side of Paxton. Please avoid parking on neighbors' lawns.

Thanks and Happy Gardening! John

1 comment:

  1. Hi John, I have some seeds I harvested from three years ago. My cousin in Walha SC gAve me so.e of her giant beans and I dried them and opened them up and saved the red velvety beans. Last Thursday I planted 1 seed and already the plant has grown out of the ground and is 7" tall. This is my first and I like how it grows so FAST! Elle. if want to contact me. Maybe you might have some suggestions for me? Have a great day.