Runner beans, also known as black-eyed peas, have a unique and spicy flavor. They're a great legume for a whole family because of their adaptability and tolerance of being in the field. They can be eaten raw, boiled, or even used in chili. There are many recipes for both.
Even though they come from a different part of the world, you won't notice the difference when you taste them. Have a different taste than French beans. You could eat the fresh seeds just after harvesting or harvest seed from older pods and cook them as regular black-eyed peas. They're actually quite prolific crop-sensitizing plants - with a properly preserved pod you can easily grow plenty to last a long time. If you grow them right from seed, you may never need to buy more beans of any kind.
Some people are attracted to the color of hummingbirds, which is what makes runner beans so attractive to many gardeners. Because the plant has a deep purple-black color, it's attractive to hummingbirds. When the weather is warm, these insects are attracted to the flowers on the tall stalks of the plant. If the flower buds are left on the ground, however, the hummingbirds will simply fly over them and move on to another flower.
To attract hummingbirds and other wildlife to your garden with runner beans, place nectar plants next to the beans. This will encourage them to visit the area on a regular basis, increasing your chances of attracting these animals. Once you do, you'll be glad you included these important seeds in your vegetable garden.
You'll find many varieties of beans in stores today. There's bean curd, kidney bean, garbanzo, and all other types of beans that make good sprouts. They're sold in the form of sprays, ready to plant, and in pre-packed packs of eight to ten cups of dry beans, depending on the variety. Some specialty brands even offer small jars of specially prepared germination seeds. This is important, because many shoppers simply purchase the brand of beans they want, not the variety.
It's important to purchase a jar with at least four pieces of thick plastic wrap, for protection of the beans and seeds. Jars with one piece of plastic wrap will not provide adequate protection and can easily be torn open before the beans or seeds sprout. While this may seem like a nuisance, if the beans are not properly protected, they could be damaged during shipping.
After the initial planting, you should cover the bean with a plastic bag to keep it airtight and protect it from excessive moisture. Continue to do this until your heirloom seeds germinate and begin to grow. Do this every two weeks until the first bloom appears, then remove the plastic bag and put the bean in a glass of water to stop excess evaporation.
Once your plant appears, continue to follow normal bean growing protocol and water at the same time each day. You may have to water the red flowers every few days as they grow, but don't do so more than once a week. Keep the height of the plant down and only three to four inches off the ground at all times. After the first bloom appears, you should remove the plant and deadhead the flowers, allowing them to bloom again. When this happens, you'll notice that the beans start to produce a deep red color, which turns into an orange color as it matures.
When you place an order for Runner beans and then set it aside, eBay will send an electronic email to you with a tracking number. You can also find instructions for sowing and harvesting the seeds by clicking the "Seed to Retailers" link at the top of this article. When the beans are ready, you can expect to receive an email with a subject line such as "prepare to ship." Follow the directions included with your order and then package your beans and ship to your door.
In addition to the varieties described above, Runner beans are available in other selections such as Caribbean Runner Bean, Golden Delicious, Jamaican Blue Mountain and French Rooster. These beans have high protein levels and therefore are suitable for vegetarians or people watching their cholesterol levels. They also don't contain any calories and do not store a large amount of fat. The high levels of fiber make it a good choice for replacing sugar in recipes, especially desserts, such as pies, cakes, custards, ice cream and so forth.
For those collectors who love collecting rare items, the best choice is Hummingbirds. This species of hummingbird has a large variety of seeds including a special blend of African Runner Beans that grows on a specific area in Africa. The hummingbird will lay one or two black eggs, which when hatched will start producing chickens. The best time to collect these birds seeds is during the early morning hours when they are feeding on flowers near water. The babies will fly away, but you can catch them as they return to feed on flowers in the evening.