|Dry Purgatory Beans|
|Soaked Purgatory Beans|
I really do like this bean, I must really truly like it in light of the difficulties that I've had growing them the past few years and yet I soldier on. I'm not sure if it's my fault of if they are susceptible to spider mites, but that seems to be one of the usual problems they encounter. In 2012 I kept the beans under a cover of Agribon to protect them from birds, unfortunately that may have created ideal conditions for spider mites to take hold. The plants became completely infested and met an early demise, but not before I got a little over a pound of dried beans. That was encouragement to try again. In 2013 I learned the limits of an early start for these beans, many seedlings died a cold soggy death, March is definitely too early. But I kept sowing more successions and eventually got a decent bunch of plants going. And then the spider mites hit, between the mites and my ministrations the plants died an early death again. But I still got almost 2 pounds of beans. More encouragement... Last year I tested the limits for how late I could plant them and sowed them on July 18 - yes, the middle of summer, and pushed even harder with a second sowing on August 7. And I pretty much got away with it, the spider mites attacked again, but fortunately the plants once again set some good beans and the warm nearly rainless autumn worked in my favor for getting the beans to dry. Last year my efforts netted 1.7 pounds of dried beans.
This year I gave the beans a more fair chance at success. I waited until April 11 to sow the beans in paper pots, one and a half flats for a total of 54 pots. Instead of Agribon I used more permeable and breathable tulle to protect the young plants from the birds.
The beans in the pods weighed in at 4.25 pounds. I rather enjoy the process of popping the beans out of their pods individually and I do it after dinner while watching a video with Dave. The process helps to keep me from nodding off in the middle of the program...
Today was the final weigh-in for the dry shelled beans - just a smidge over 3 pounds. Woo hoo, plenty of bean salads for the coming year!
|A 1.5 Liter Jar of Purgatory Beans|
Slow Food deems these beans to be worth saving from extinction, they have included them in their Ark of Taste (Italian only, I wish I could read it...), and I agree, I'll keep growing them.