Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chinese Long Beans


Chinese Long Beans are very prolific
There are quite a few beans that can really take the heat, but there are not a whole lot that can take the heat, are not eaten by lace bugs, and are very disease resistant. Enter the Chinese Long Bean, or Asparagus Bean. This native of Asia is resistant to most anything thrown at it. There do seem to be some forms of rust it can contract and the same weevil that bores through mesquite pods will also attack these beans. Otherwise you are looking at a constant supply of beans able to pump out enough beans to feed 1 person on 2-3 feet of 6’ tall bean plants. Though this bean can cross-pollinate with the black-eyed pea, or cowpea, the method of pollination I see most is from ants visiting the flowers. The beans secrete a nectar that attracts the ants who either protect the beans, pollinate the beans or both. You can expect to have to shake off a couple ants during bean harvest. Expect to have to harvest every 2-3 days. I judge when I need to harvest based on the thickness of the bean. About the thickness of a #2 pencil is just right. In short, the asparagus bean is a disease resistant and heat loving bean that produces heavily, but requires some extra work in one specific area. This area is the most important part for those who grow for food– figuring out how to cook them! After several years of asking around and researching I finally figured out  - and it was well worth it!

Chinese Long Beans Take over even in 110 degree temperatures

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