We started harvesting mucuna beans yesterday. The vines have gotten to at least 14 ft tall up the back side of our barn. Some of the vines reached the top and turned the corner, starting around the side !
The beans pods are very hard to open, which is necessary in getting the beans out. I preyed and cut on them with a knife and each one took a couple of minutes (a bit time consuming and hard on the fingers). The next bunch I tried steaming the whole bean pod and then opening them up. That was a bit faster, still not easy…but the beans were already steamed and ready to pop out of their inner rubbery covering when it was done. So, that will be the method of choice for the next batch I pick.
I ate 2 steamed beans in place of a fava tincture dose. They definitely worked, but may have been a bit more than I needed…I was ready to wrestle tigers, but I got a lot of work done in the next few hours, with no bad effects.
Today I tried just one bean in place of tincture. My tapping was not as quick, but I am completely functional on one. So, time will tell if the mucunas will be grown next year…they are a lot of work when it comes to shelling them, unless I can find an easier method. But, they work.
I have harvested several batches of fava plant tops now and a few beans. Have had a little trouble with aphids on the plants on the farm, and will probably have to make a point of spraying them with mild dish soap & water every week or so to avoid plant damage. Have started making raised beds to cover and try to grow favas all winter. Will let you know if this works…….