|Wolverines's orca bean|
In any case, it's time for some harvest updates. I'll start with the legumes, since these are all in, fully dried, shelled, sorted and weighed. As you might remember, I had a few different legumes on the trial table this year: favas beans, peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas and some lupines. As in any good story, this turned out to be a tale of heroic successes (well, kind of), epic failures, and everything in between.
The fava beans did well and I enjoyed a decent amount of them fresh. I left plenty on the plants to dry as well, though here too I had to sacrifice some to the local fauna. The bigger problem manifested itself when I starting shelling the dried beans. The majority of the pods had been invaded by what I surmise is the broad bean weevil (Bruchus rufimanus), whose larvae eat their way into the bean and then emerge from the dried seed as an adult (and rather confused-looking) beetle. The result in my case was a majority of seed with beetles or beetle-sized holes in them... While probably still edible, they're a bit of pain to sort and clean that way. I'll probably stick to eating my fava beans fresh.
On to happier news then. Dried peas are susceptible to weevils as well (Bruchus pisorum to be precise), but luckily this species is a bit less common in these regions (for the moment) and I haven't had any problems with it in my garden the past year. The different pea varieties did very well, even though the cursed pigeons decimated everything that grew out above the trellis that I had constructed. Luckily, since the trellis was pretty high anyway, the damage was fairly limited. Some of the peas had larvae of the pea moth in them (Cydia nigricana, - one certainly learns a lot about insects and their insecty habbits as a gardener), basically a small white larva that eats its way through some of the peas and then leaves a trail of web and excrement behind. Thank you very much! Overall it wasn't too bad, I think I eventually had to throw out between 5 and 10% of the peas. What was left was the following, in brackets is the approximate (and I want to underline approximate) space I had for each variety:
- Govorov - 45g (I only had a few plants of this)
- Klosterärt - 600g (a 2 meter row)
- Biskopens gråärt - 340g (1-1.5 meter row)
- Bjurholms småärt - 840g (2 meter row)
- Gotländs blåärt - 710g (1.5-2 meter row)
- Solleröns gråärt - 300g (1 meter row)
- Huttiternas soup bean: 280g (1.5m)
- Borlotti: 1500g (6.5m)
- Brightstone: 910g (2.5-3m)
- Stella/Bruna bönor: 760g (3.5m - these were supposed to be 2 distinct varieties but they are almost identical and ended up together.. woops)
- Wolverine's orca: 310g (2m)
Summed up, that's a grand total of 3760g of dried beans for 4 rows of 4 meters, or about 6 to 8 m2.
|Lupin bean (L. albus)|
The final verdict of The Great Legume Project? I'll be growing more peas and beans next year, drop the lentils and stick with fava beans as a summer crop. I'm definitely trying chickpeas again, against all ods, simply because I'm biased towards chickpeas, but I'll probably be guarding them closely. Think the batata garden, annex chickpea fortress.. something along those lines.