Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tepary Beans

I am guessing that you have never heard of a Tepary Bean. I hadn't until this last spring. They are a bean that absolutely thrives in some of the most arid of landscapes. A drought vegetable to the highest degree. I have a few seed packs of a couple of Tepary Bean varieties from seeds of change and will be planting them this growing season. With the drought that we are currently in...and with a foreboding forecast for this may be prudent to consider trying out some drought tolerant varieties of various vegetables. Tepary Beans may also be good for the person who has no watering system set up and who often forgets to water...because that is what the beans require!

"The Tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius, Fabaceae) is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico and has been grown there by the native peoples since pre-Columbian times. It is more drought-resistant than the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and is grown in desert and semi-desert conditions from Arizona through Mexico to Costa Rica. The water requirements are low and the crop will grow in areas where annual rainfall is less than 400 mm (16 inches). It has recently been introduced to African agriculture.

Other names for this bean include Pawi, Pavi, Tepari, Escomite, Yori mui and Yori muni. The name tepary may derive from the Tohono O'odham phrase t'pawi or "It's a bean".

Tepary beans are cooked like other dry beans after soaking. Some Native Americans would toast the dry beans, then grind them into a meal which was mixed with water before eating.

Recent studies from the United States and Mexico suggest that lectin toxins and other compounds from tepary beans may be useful as chemotherapy for treating cancer. However, further research is needed.

It is an ingredient in the Indian snacks 'bhujia' by Haldiram."

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