Madagascar Bean (aka seven year bean)
Origin: Tropical and sub-Tropical regions
Plant: in Spring
Harvest: When pods have dried on vine
This bean is a vigorous climbing tropical lima bean, which will give many years of production after the initial first year. It is a perennial vine well suited to the wet humid conditions of the Sunshine Coast and it will keep producing large fat beans for most of the year. Madagascar beans need a trellis for support.
The beans (not the pods) can be eaten fresh, while still white before any colour shows; or dried – they dry well on the vine with a beautiful speckled red and white bean that can be stored for winter soups and casseroles or turned into bean patties and also used to make tempeh – dried beans need to be soaked overnight before cooking. If weevils get into the dried beans, put them in the freezer for a while and this will kill off the weevils.