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Growing, drying and eating borlotti beans

It is the time of year for beans! As well as the butter and climbing beans, we also grow borlotti beans for drying. I don't think we will do this again, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is a hassle! They take up room in the ground for a long time if you leave them planted while they dry (which is recommended). If you remove them, you then have to take care of them while they dry. I have removed some (pictured above) to make room for carrot, beet and radish seed. They are drying on our deck, but I try to bring them in during rainy weather. Once they are dry, you have to pod them. Secondly, the yield is not great and dried beans are cheap to buy. It is fun to try to grow a staple like dried beans, and we may do it again if we have more land in future. Our inspiration for growing borlottis is a bean and rosemary risotto we enjoy. This recipe uses canned borlottis and we enjoyed substituting these for our own borlottis after last year's harvest.

thorney  – (February 15, 2010 at 6:42 PM)  

When I was growing up my dad kept a huge garden and he grew butter beans (aka lima beans) and black-eyed peas. I remember spening about 2 weeks every summer pciking beans and shelling them to can.

My mom had a soup she used to make that was completely from the garden--we'd have it every Sunday afternoon with grilled cheese sandwiches when we'd come home from church. The soup was a tomato base with onion, corn, beans, zucchini, yellow squash--you name it and she threw it in and it was always good.


hannah  – (February 16, 2010 at 11:08 AM)  

I have not heard of borlotti beans. We have not attempted to grow many beans for drying, besides black-eyed peas (which we pick fresh and just save whatever happens to dry on the vine).

You are making want to start planning my spring garden with all your latest posts!

thorney  – (February 16, 2010 at 4:41 PM)  

Hi Sherrin, Thank you for coming by my blog. To answer your question, yes we used to eat the black-eyed peas too. That was, and still is, a favorite meal for our family, black-eyed peas and cornbread.

Reading about your garden is making ready for spring and getting something going in our yard. We just bought this house in November and the back yard is a huge mess of blackberrie bushes which grow wild here in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). We're in Seattle, WA.

Lisa  – (March 5, 2010 at 9:15 AM)  


I know that you're in a completely different region, but do you use heirloom seeds? I'm just starting out gardening (2nd in ground garden since childhood) and I'm looking at the seeds that the extension service of our university recommends, but I'm also interested in preserving seeds from year to year to save money. Can I save seeds from regular seed packet plants or does it have to specify heirloom?

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