03 Mar Lab lab BEANS (not dogs)
By Gordon Clark, Horticultural Consultant
Another crop to be trialed by PHF will be Lablab beans. Yet another valuable covercrop/greenmanure plant that provides lots of nitrogen, 50 metric tonnes of biomass per hectare, and has edible beans that have 50% more protein than black beans. It is the second most cultivated green manure/covercrop plant in the world after Pigeon Peas. How about that?
Wait there’s more. Lablabs are also very drought resistant after the first 4 months of growth, the pods are edible and it is a great forage crop for animals. The fodder can be used as an excellent hay substitute. It will be great to plant in the rows of mango trees. It’s a perennial and will totally supply the fertility for the mangos.
Lablab also does a good job controlling weeds when the planting rate is 4 seeds per square meter. Hopefully, PHF will have a great harvest like the velvet beans, so that there will be seeds to sell after the crop is harvested.
Like any high protein bean it does need to be cooked for about an hour and it tastes a little bit bitter. However if you serve it with Haitian Pikliz (made with Habanero or Scotch Bonnet hot peppers), the bitterness will be the least problem your taste buds will encounter.