2012 Seed Choices, Part 6

The main list is here, Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, Part 5 here.  

And now onto another big group, the legumes. Legumes are one of the best sources of non-animal protein, and while I'm an unapologetic omnivore, I still like the idea of being able to grow protein in my garden. Last year, I planted a small trial of dry beans, along with green beans, peas and peanuts (yes, peanuts grow in Ontario). The peanuts did nothing (wrong soil type, I think), but the dry beans did great. 

So, of course, that means I have to plant every variety possible, right. Yeah.

Do you have any idea how MANY dry bean varieties there are? If you are basing your choice on what's available in your local grocery store, you will be very wrong.

I have 12 varieties to plant - and that's the tip of the iceberg. And I might end up with even more - I still have to put in one seed order, and there are a few from that supplier I'd like to try...

I can see me turning into a dry bean hoarder.

Which is ironic, since the one and only time my Mom tried to get me to eat pork & beans as a child, I threw up at the table.

Too much information? Sorry :)

But yes, I'm new to the dry bean world and apparently, my tastes have changed in the last mumblemumble years - and like many a new convert, I'm prone to ramble on and on about my conversion. But yeah - dry beans: easy to grow, easy to store, easy to cook, great source of protein. What's not to like?

I addition to the dry beans, I'm trying lentils as well, but I actually don't expect them to do well - they, like chickpeas, can be very susceptible to disease, and grow better in a more arid climate, like the Canadian prairies. Did you know Canada is one of the largest growers (and exporters) of lentils and chickpeas? But hey - I saw the seeds for sale at Seedy Saturday, and decided to try them. Won't work if I don't try, right?

And of course, I'm also growing peas, both snow (1 variety) and regular (2 varieties), and pole beans (3 varieties). And roma beans as well. Which is Switzerland's fault. Really.

Of course there is a story behind that! I was lucky enough to go to Switzerland for work a few years ago, and one meal I had was a very nice soup with these amazing, tender, HUGE flat podded beans. They were at least an inch wide, and I've been scouring seed catalogs for the past few years, trying to find out what they were. The closest I can come up with are roma-type green beans, but they aren't exactly the same. However, I still have some old seed, so they'll be planted this year, and I'll continue my search. Any ideas?

And the last oddball of the group is the winged pea, aka asparagus pea. 

 A definite novelty, but worth the space in the garden, just to see (and taste) it.

So, the legumes. 21 varieties and counting...



  1. I've been curious about growing the winged pea. I don't know if it would work well in the dry climate here in California.

    1. From what I've read, it grows well anywhere peas grow well, so if you can find seed, try it!



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