A hardy perennial bean has been a wish amongst permaculturists for some years, and one of the most interesting species is Phaseolus polystachios. Jonathan Bates of Paradise Lot fame (with Eric Toensmeier) kindly sent me seed last year. The 2-3 plants sadly all died. This year one of my remaining seed germinated and the resultant plant has grown well, kept indoors all summer.. It is now in full flower in the living room, but has been invaded by aphids. Is it self-fertile?
Here are just a few pictures of lupins I’ve grown in my garden (click the pictures for more information)! Lupins have been grown for food since ancient times in the Mediterranean countries (>3000 years) and in the Andes (>6000 years)….. There’s been an upsurge in interest and cultivation of lupins for food in recent years as they can be made into the gluten-free lupini flour, but some people with peanut allergy (peanut is also a legume) are also allergic to these…look carefully at the ingredient list as lupini flour is even used in Norway!
I’ve never tried Lupinus angustifolius which I’ve heard is cultivated for food in Germany (recently developed low alkaloid varieties)!
However, it’s the development of low alkaloid varieties of perennial Lupinus nootkatensis that I most look forward to trying as there are few perennial bean crops!!
For the first time this year I have two different Yam beans growing in my office in Trondheim, Ahipa and Jicama. I’ve grown and eaten Jicama before and here’s an album of pictures about my experiences of this delicious vegetable…worth growing for a little taste each year!
In July 2011, I noticed that a beautiful black-flowered broad/fava bean had appeared amongst my Crimson-flowered broad beans (a UK heritage variety that I’ve grown for some years)!
In July 2016, another black-flowered bean appeared (the bottom picture below)
Originally introduced by Alan Kapuler of Peace Seeds, who gave them to me during my visit last September and sowed in my garden today! This a large-seeded tall variety originating in Guatemala ! The bright yellow seeds are reputed to contain elevated levels of dopamine, and may have benefits for those at risk for Alzheimer’s disease….