Hyacinth Beans


Aside from the bumper crop of peppers, the most successful plants in this year's garden were my three tee-pees of hyacinth beans.

I initially only planted a few, mixed in with some regular green beans.  Just the other day I found a solitary, scraggly green bean--the only one I've seen--but in their full glory the hyacinth beans were taller than Sweet Husband and would have grown taller still had I built their supports higher.

Unfortunately, they're not really edible.  At least, whether or not you can eat them is questionable, and I've decided to err on the side of caution.  But the little psychedelic purple pods were so pretty that I decided to save a few seeds to plant next year.

One morning a few weeks ago, the Kid and I were out in the yard and I stuffed my coat pockets full of as many dried pods as I could get my hands on quickly.  It was only a few hours later, while husking them inside, that I realized the beans themselves were all inky-black and beautiful.

I generally have little interest in messing with plants that I can't eat, but for these mysterious pretties I think I will be making an exception for year to come. If nothing else, I noticed that our neighborhood bees enjoyed snacking on them, which is a worthwhile cause even if they can't be used to feed humans.