Madagascar Bean Growing Information © Frances Michaels
Editor’s Note: Madagascar beans are my kind of vegetable : They thrive in our hot humid summer conditions, they are prolific, beautiful and delicious. Permaculture Noosa ‘Green Goodies’ guru Dee Humphreys is enjoying bountiful harvests in less than a year after planting. Dee uses the beans in lots of different ways, but her favourite is a type of hummus made with Madagascar beans, cold pressed virgin olive oil, garlic and chillies. It is delicious!
Botanical Name: Phaseolus lunatus syn. P. limensis
Common Names: Madagascar Bean syn. Tropical Lima Bean.
Plant Family: Fabaceae
A vigorous climbing tropical lima bean, which will last for many years in the ground. It is excellent at coping with wet, humid conditions. There is usually little pod production in the first year but it is prolific after that. It is tolerant of a wide variety of soil types. Madagascar bean needs a sturdy trellis as it grows vigorously. This is an excellent hardy bean for warmer climates as it dies backs and re-shoots every year. The beans (not the pods) can be eaten fresh, while still white before any colour shows. They also dry well on the vine to a beautiful speckled red and white bean that can be stored for winter soups and casseroles.
Recommended Planting Time: Sow in spring
Planting Depth: Sow the seed 2 – 4 cm deep.
Spacing: Sow directly into the ground, at least 60 cm apart.
Position: This vigorous vine needs a strong trellis.
The seeds are an attractive white with burgundy speckles. The shelled beans can be used fresh or dried in soups and stews. The dried beans can also be used to make tempeh. The sprouted seeds are used as a vegetable in Chinese cooking. The young pods are sometimes steamed and eaten but they are quite fibrous. The young leaves can also be steamed and eaten but have a bitter flavour.
Available as seed: Madagascar Beans
1 cup dried Madagascar beans, soaked overnight and cooked until soft, then mashed
1 onion and 3 garlic cloves chopped finely and fried until soft
1/4 cup parsley chopped finely
1 cup grated cheese
2 carrots, grated
Dash of tamari or soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients well, shape into burgers and roll in breadcrumbs with added sesame seeds. Fry gently until brown on both sides.
photo: Daley’s Fruit tree nursery: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjdxcXHm_LQAhWBjpQKHVs0AhoQjB0IBg&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.daleysfruit.com.au%2FBean-Madagascar-Phaseolus-lunatus.htm&psig=AFQjCNE8JY–wV717bdxeyJa8VKMvT88tQ&ust=1481754323997343