Anasazi Beans

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  • #52577
    whitebear54
    Participant

    If you aren’t already growing Anasazi beans you owe it to yourself to start–especially if you garden in the arid desert SW. These are quite simply the best tasting dry beans I’ve ever grown. As a bonus, once they are up and established they will produce a crop with minimal irrigation–in some cases none at all aside from our horribly infrequent rains. They are usually pole beans, but Terrior Seeds (Underwood Gardens–http://www.underwoodgardens.com out of Chino Valley, AZ sometimes has a bush variety–though I’d take that “bush” labelling with a grain of salt. These beans have were developed in the Sonoran Desert of Mexico almost 2,500 years ago and spread all over the desert SW from there. I think it was their productivity as well as their flavor that earned them such a following. If I could only grow one bean after TSHTF, this would be it.

    They are sometimes known as Red Anasazi beans, Cave beans and (I believe) Cranberry beans. They are reputed to grow well in the three sisters planting method–though I haven’t personally tried them at that yet (next year).

    Anasazi beans are really good picked young as snap beans, but they excel as dry beans. Their sweet, nutty flavor will astonish you.

    I make a delicious ham and bean soup with these beans and gobble them up with homemade cornbread.

    Oh, and they aren’t just for growing in deserts. I’ve seen reviews from folks all over the country praising their flavor and productivity. I usually soak them overnight before I plant them 1 1/2″ deep and at least 12″ apart in well-composted soil. I water them in and keep them barely moist until they germinate and produce true leaves. Then I cut back on watering. Work of warning: if you water them too much prior to germination they will rot in the ground. They will climb on anything and take 90-95 days for dry beans.

    Another good source of bean seeds that do well in harsh climates is Native Seeds (https://shop.nativeseeds.org). They have an enormous variety of bean, corn and squash seeds that were developed for growing in deserts with little or no irrigation.

    #64073
    whitebear54
    Participant

    Update: This year my Anasazi beans are doing quite well in the three sisters method. I’ve harvested most of my corn but the beans are climbing the stalks like champions. And my Hopi Grey squash is spreading out beneath the corn and beans and beginning to set fruit.

    One thing about Anasazi beans for those of you who haven’t tried them. They are very sweet and therefore, in my opinion, do not make a good bean for chili. Great with ham and bean soup though and with cornbread.

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