Chinese Beans (Yard-long, Adzuka, or Fava beans)

Description - Yard-long (Asparagus bean), Vigna sesquipedalis pods may be 10-20 inches long but customers prefer them 10-12 inches in length and pencil-size. There are two kinds, red seeded and black seeded. The black seeded is preferred.

Culture - Yard-long beans are a pole bean related to the backeyed peas and needs support to produce long, straight pods. Plant seed 1 inch deep and 3 inches apart after soils have warmed in late spring. Place wire or twine supports in rows at seeding. Expect 8 feet tall vines.

Selection - Green pods are harvested in 50-60 days, or 70 days for dry harvest. For highest quality, pick daily and tie in bunches, 10-12 pods per bunch.

Adzuki (Winged bean) bean pods are shorter tan green beans, borne in clusters. The plant forms a two foot high bush. Mature pods have shiny, red, round beans.

Culture - Plant seed in the spring in warm soils to 1 inch deep, 2-3 inches apart with rows 30 to 40 inches apart. Plants prefer a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5 and require ample moisture.

Selection - Harvest green when pods begin to show seed development and then harvest at 5 day intervals. For dried beans, 120 days may be required. Dry beans can be used as "bean sprouts", by soaking in water and allowing them to sprout.

Fava bean (Dow Fu) Ficia faba is not a true bean but is related to pea or vetch. The plant is a 3-4 foot tall bush. Pods are large 7-12 inch long and contain not more than 5 to 7 large flat seeds, similar to lima but more angular. Flowers are white; pods are light green.

Culture - Fava beans do best in moist, rich soil. Unlike green beans, they do not thrive in hot weather but like cool weather, even tolerating freezing temperatures. Seed in the fall for an early spring crop. Large seeds are planted 2 inches deep, six inches between plants on 40 inch row spacing. Germination takes two weeks. Plants respond to irrigation.

Selection - Fava beans mature in 65 days as a green bean and 90 to 100 days for dry beans. The green bean stage are harvested and handled as regular green beans and sold by the pound. Dried beans are stored and used during off-season.

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