Author Topic: Butter beans  (Read 389 times)

ACE

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Butter beans
« on: August 16, 2018, 10:23:25 »
I know it is nearly impossible to grow Lima beans in the UK. But somebody told me their Greek Gigante was a good alternative. Has anybody tried these?

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Butter beans
« on: August 16, 2018, 10:23:25 »

galina

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Re: Butter beans
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2018, 10:33:43 »
On the IOW you might get away with growing Lima beans - Christmas Lima was the one I was nearly successful with here.  Would quite probably work in more benign areas in the UK, such as yourself of 'on the sunshine coast'.  Gigante are easy, just like runnerbeans that are left to dry, not eaten for green pods.  You have the longish frost-free season where you are, should work well.  :wave:

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Butter beans
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2018, 10:45:21 »
Yes, 2nd year.
Seed from realseeds, own seed saved for this year.
Very vigorous vine, makes at least 9feet. Attractive white flower, which is also large. Not terribly productive, average of three beans per pod. May be a pollination issue. Am to try planting borage as undercrop for next year.
Those beans harvested and dried, excellent in slow cooker recipes. Need to soak at least overnight, boil for 15-20 mins then add to pot. 8 hours leaves plump , flavoursome, slightly toothy beans. Better than my recollection of school dinner butter beans!
Worth the space, could be used on a wire fence or arbour. Decoratively spectacular.
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ACE

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Re: Butter beans
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2018, 11:16:13 »
Tried lima a few years ago but they were not a success, But I think I will try the gigante next year and perhaps Lazy Housewife which look similar.

squeezyjohn

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Re: Butter beans
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2018, 12:49:56 »
Gigandes are amazing.  They're actually a type of climbing runner bean meant for drying.  The plants are more vigorous than I've seen in any other kind of runner, can go 12-15ft if you let them and need very little looking after except to provide very strong support.  They make fat short pods containing 1-4 giant flat white beans that can be left to dry on the plant.  This year I didn't water them except when I planted them out from modules and they have made slightly fewer pods than normal in the drought, but are still producing at the top of the supports since the rain.  The beans are a perfect replacement for butter beans, but are even bigger, some are bigger than some of my potatoes when cooked!

I'm trying lazy housewife for the first time this year (actually I tried last year but all were eaten by slugs - they seem quite tender to start with) - they struggled through the drought making few pods, but have come good with tons of pods at the top of the support.  I've never eaten the bean, but they seem a different shape to butter beans, more rounded and about the size of a borlotti, but pure white.  They have outperformed your brighstone beans this year by quite some margin - the brighstones seem not to have liked the conditions this year at all.

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Re: Butter beans
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 12:55:27 »
I found these much easier to grow than the Gigantes, in an average summer, got mine from DT Brown, I think :) Worked brilliantly for Gigantes Plaki - Greek beans baked in a tomato sauce....

http://www.growitalian.com/bean-spagna-bianco-55-6me/


ACE

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Re: Butter beans
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 13:18:02 »
I also tried  Franchi seeds one year and was very disappointed in the germination on all the different packets I got, so one bitten twice shy. Also I thought they were very expensive compared to UK brands.

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squeezyjohn

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Re: Butter beans
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2018, 12:54:17 »
I've just started removing the first few dried pods of Lazy Housewife and they don't seem to be a replacement for a butter bean in size and shape!  However, they are a nice looking clean white drying bean about the size of a cooked tinned baked bean when dry (I assume they will swell up a bit and be more like a brighstone bean in size when they're soaked and cooked) ... However they have been massively productive ... if all the pods which got produced at the top of the arches after the heatwave subsided end up maturing and drying then they will be the most productive tall drying bean I've ever grown.  I can't imagine how many I'd have if there hadn't been that month and a half dry spell!

ACE

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Re: Butter beans
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2018, 15:25:31 »
I have to get new seed for all my beans next year, poor crops and cross pollination has done for them. Gigantes is defo on the list, I will have room on the new plot to try a wigwam of lazy housewife as they sound like the type of bean we use with pasta bakes and cauliflower cheese. I am also going to try the orca beans as I expect they will be a pea/bean type like my ying yang which produced but the flowers have changed colour. A trip to Brighstone and scrounge a few new beans from my mates in the gardening society should set me up nice for a few more years. I expect I eat beans 3 or 4 times a week in different recipes as they have removed my dependence on statins for lowering cholesterol, All I need now is to breed a bean that grows in seaweed and will retain the iodine for the thyroid problem, This time next year I will be a millionare :sunny:

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Butter beans
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2018, 19:38:08 »
All I need now is to breed a bean that grows in seaweed and will retain the iodine for the thyroid problem, This time next year I will be a millionare :sunny:
There is a variety of navy bean called Albion which is a rich source of iodine. It was trialled in UK by Tozer seeds ltd during the 1980s, but not adopted by growers because it was not frost hardy in UK, requiring sowing mid May and the resulting harvest was 'inconsistent'. Such a bean finds its way into baked beans. It is available as a seed in the US but I dont know of a UK stockist. Anybody?
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squeezyjohn

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Re: Butter beans
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2018, 19:54:49 »
I have to get new seed for all my beans next year, poor crops and cross pollination has done for them. Gigantes is defo on the list, I will have room on the new plot to try a wigwam of lazy housewife as they sound like the type of bean we use with pasta bakes and cauliflower cheese. I am also going to try the orca beans as I expect they will be a pea/bean type like my ying yang which produced but the flowers have changed colour. A trip to Brighstone and scrounge a few new beans from my mates in the gardening society should set me up nice for a few more years. I expect I eat beans 3 or 4 times a week in different recipes as they have removed my dependence on statins for lowering cholesterol, All I need now is to breed a bean that grows in seaweed and will retain the iodine for the thyroid problem, This time next year I will be a millionare :sunny:

If you need some Brighstone beans back from the ones you sent me a couple of years ago I can send you some.  They didn't do great this year with the weather - but there's enough for planting if not many for eating.

ACE

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Re: Butter beans
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2018, 21:08:39 »
Thanks for the offer but I can get them from Brighstone,. I taught the kids in the village school The morris dance called bean setting and told them a yarn of how the original Brighstone bean was stolen  by wreckers and anybody that still grows them are descendants  of  the criminals, but don't tell anybody if their dad grows them. The kids told their parents so now the village  gardeners have a joke secret award for the best Brighstone bean in the local pub. I can get some fresh from source in a brown envelope left behind the phone box :toothy10:

squeezyjohn

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Re: Butter beans
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2018, 22:12:24 »
Ah Bean Setting ... a Headington dance - just round the corner from me (my great uncle played for Headington United) ... well - if you need any free Lazy Houswife or Gigandes ones ... just ask.