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Growing Pulses aka Soup Beans

Anyone following this blog knows I always have something new on the go. This year we are experimenting with growing pulses or soup beans. Unfortunately, our bean garden has had a tough go of it. A late start this spring (due to an unusually cold and wet spring) followed by stunted growth as a result of deer and rabbit damage has severely hurt our pulse crop. As of early September, most of our soup bean pods are still green. I can only hope the weather remains warm and dry long enough to allow them to continue to mature before we receive any fall frost.

Having said that our red kidney beans have managed to reach maturity and I picked them this past weekend. We harvested a little over one and three quarter cups from a single 10 foot row. Many of the seeds in the pods were immature — likely due to the late start and dry season. This is enough though I hope for one or two batches of home made chili. Next year we will plant double the amount.

A trip this past weekend to the Stratford Garlic Festival also revealed some additional information about pulses grown in Canada. Pulses, including dried beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils are grown in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario for shipment world wide. More information, and some great recipes, are available at www.pulsecanada.com

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