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BLACK KABOULI Bush Garbanzo Beans in Pennsylvania

  • Subject: [cg] BLACK KABOULI Bush Garbanzo Beans in Pennsylvania
  • From: Alliums garlicgrower@earthlink.net
  • Date: Sat, 08 Mar 2003 09:59:19 -0500

Hi, Folks!

I finally found one of the seed packets from Seeds of Change -- as many as they sent us, you'd think it would have been easier to find, but I'm in the midst of excavating the basement to find my seed-starting supplies buried under new-husband and can't-get-rid-of cousin's stuff that was dumped hither and thither. . .

Libby wrote:

I grew them years ago. The variety that I grew was more cold resistant than most.
What's confusing me on this seed packet is that in the initial paragraph, it says "A cool weather crop, cultured like peas" whereas under planting instructions, it says "Plant directly in garden when danger of frost is past." *That* does not sound like a cool weather plant *to me*! (Or maybe life is just different in the arid SW! ;-))

Anyway, one needs to start them in warm soil
The seed packet says soil temp of 50 to 70 degrees. With 90 to 100 days to maturity, I guess I can just plant peas and leave these guys until May.

(Have you seen any soil yet? I haven't.):
Soil?  All we have here is permafrost! ;-P

They are low-growing, have ferny leaves and pretty white flowers.
The packet also says that "this famed variety from stories and legends of the Middle East is said to attract thunderstorms when flowering." No wonder SOC couldn't sell them, so passed them on to us!

It's supposed to give me 2 beans/pod, but one isn't supposed to harvest until 2/3 of the crop is dry -- can't use the beans fresh for hummus? :-(

Has your snow melted off yet? I've still got places in the back yard with almost a foot left.
I'm going up to the garden this afternoon to see how many feet of snow are left. *Nothing* is melting since it's just a field of white out there and as I have a member of the church youth group who wants to do his high school community service at the garden, it just kills me not to be able to put him to work out there! A teenager is a terrible thing to waste! ;-)

Don wrote:

>where you are, Dorene - Zone 6?

Yep, this is Zone 6.

>They are a Mediterranean summer crop, so they resist drought

Why the seed packet is telling me they are a cool season crop is really throwing me here. I believe you and Libby more -- these guys aren't getting planted until late May!

>Direct seed, and I suggest soaking them 6 hrs or so before (like for peas or sweet peas).

I've never soaked my peas -- I usually plant them about NOW (grrrrrrr, snow) and then just let them come up whenever they feel like it. I'm sure if I soaked them, they would come up faster.

>but as Libby says they are pretty in a quiet way.

That's because you guys didn't plant the "attracting thunderstorm" variety! ;-)

>If they don't work, dig 'em in as green manure.

Too many thunderstorms while the plants are flowering and they are worm food! ;-D

>They might look nice around the base of okra as an 'edible mulch'.

PineTree Seeds sent me a bag of loose red okra seed -- maybe I'll do a bed with the black garbanzos and red okra

>Meanwhile, I'm going to try edame (edible soybean) this year. My family now gobbles 'em by the fistfull, and they >supposedly work well here in Zone 7, better than limas.

Yes, yes, yes -- you definitely want to grow them! They are *fantastic* and not difficult at all. The deer do like them, so if they are a problem, you'll have to deer fence them (deer don't tend to eat the field soybeans around here, so I was surprised they liked these so much). They spread more than they are tall, but the plants are not fussy if you keep them weeded/mulched and are very easy to harvest. If they mature faster on you (I was growing for seed last year so that I could grow for eating this year), they rehydrate very quickly and are very good in soups (which is where my seed cull went). All of us should be growing them -- they're easy, they're expensive in the store and they are nitrogen fixers, so good for your soil. What more can you ask of a veggie? :-D

Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden

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St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460

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