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Canavalia Ensiformis Sword Bean White Seeds
Packet of 5+ fresh viable home grown seeds!
Known as sword beans, wonder beans, jack beans, Brazilian broad bean, coffee bean(because they can be soaked then roasted as a surprisingly tasty coffee substitute), Chickasaw lima bean, haba de burro, boyengo, Ensiform bean, horse bean, mole bean, overlook bean, and probably dozens of others too.
They are commonly misidentifed as related members of the genus and were once known as Canavalia incurva, Canavalia loureiroi, Dolichos acinaciformis, Dolichos ensiformis, Dolichos pugioniformis, and Malocchia ensiformis.
It is grown on a huge scale all through Japan, China, and SE-Asia, and it has been recorded being grown as a staple food crop in Mexico since ~3000BC.
It is easy to grow but in my experience it needs to be germinated in a sandy free draining soil, or the large high energy seeds will rot, stink, and then get eaten by insects and fungi.
Nicking the side of the seeds and/or soaking the seeds in warm water before planting isn’t necessary in my experience, and for me in side by side trials it made no difference in either germination % or time, and I reckon it might increase risk of fungal dramas?
But some folks do swear by it and they have great results, so I guess it’s really down to personal choice…
You can grow them as a novelty ornamental type thing, and I reckon the beans are as cool if not cooler than more common flowering vines. ~30cm long is about the averages size for us here.
You can use them as a green manure crop or spacefiller to cover a fence or stop the neighbours peering in your windows.
They also increase the availability of nitrogen to nearby plants by converting it with nodules on their roots.
As a food crop they are awesome too!
With these guys its important to only eat the pods fully cooked and while still young because they have a couple chemicals that need be removed or destroyed by heat first.
Same deal with a lot of more common bean species, “kidney beans” for example.
If you want to eat the mature ripe dried seeds the best way is to boil up a heap in salty water till they start to get tender, then dump the water.
After boiling they can be added to soups, stews, curries pretty much anything and with the twice cooking they get nice and fat. The white color stands out too adding a little contrasting colour to simple dishes like tomato pasta sauce.
They are sometimes used for making tempeh and tofu along with sweets and deserts like mochi, anko and anpan etc.
I like to boil big batches, then drain them and freeze to be used later on when I am in a hurry.
Boring soups and stews often need a bit of oumph, and these guys add colour, flavour, and help thicken them up, at the same time adding heaps of protein making them more filling and hearty too.
Pretty awesome combo, and an even cooler plant!
Grown by me and the Mrs organically, no chems, no nasties, no dramas!!!