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80-90 days maturity. Canavalia gladiata 'Shironata'. Shironata Mame Sword Bean. Non-GMO, Heirloom. Warm-season annual. This tropical Japanese cultivated bean is predominantly harvested when the pods are young and tender. Popular in many parts of India, the dense, glossy green pods are flat, have a ridged edge, and taste like snap beans but are similar to snow peas in texture. Large vines grow quickly and should be trellised. Sword Beans are appropriate for a variety of growing situations and culinary applications. They also have beautiful blooms that pollinators love. Approx. 20 seeds/oz.
Other Common Names: Dao dou, habas, kacang parang, lal kudsum bal, nata mame, thua dap, to dou, and wal awara.
How to Grow Shironata Mame Sword Beans
Prepare fertile soil with organic matter in a sunny spot. Plant beans directly into the moist soil and keep the area lightly moist until they sprout. Once the plants have an established root system they are not as sensitive to over or under-watering. Train vines to climb a trellis. Growing plants will not tolerate a frost but mature beans aren’t usually impacted. Periodically check for pests throughout the season. Plant near other crops that need lots of nitrogen. When done harvesting, leave the roots in the ground to decay. This will release the nitrogen into the soil for the next crop.
Harvesting Shironata Mame Sword Beans
Harvest when 4-6" long and pods are still tender. To harvest mature seeds, wait until the pods are no longer tender and the swollen beans inside are easily visible. Mature seeds are not recommended for consumption.
Prepare young beans as you would green beans. Thoroughly cook them and they will be delicious in steamed dishes or stir-fries. If desired, prepare mature seeds by boiling to neutralize any toxins.
Tips From Our Gardeners
“It is so fun to watch this vigorous vine grow so quickly. My favorite way to eat these is in a stir fry with strong ginger flavors. Try substituting sword beans for snow peas or green beans in a recipe. You won’t be disappointed!”
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