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Growing local

Joseph shared some Edamame seed with me some months back. After the bit of rain yesterday I've moved the compost pile into the middle bed and planted the seed up one end in the bottom-of-the-pile, worm casting rich soil.

Very curious about these - I've never eaten them but the blurb on the net makes them sound delicious. Can be eaten raw like a peanut or boiled in the pod to be eaten as a snack with a bit of salt...

....used as a bright green ingredient in salads....

...or blended with peas etc to make a spread.

You Tube video

From Organic Gardening:

Edamame (pronounced "eh-dah-MAH-meh") are vegetable soybeans — that is, you pick them when they're green, pop them out of the pods and serve them as a side dish or eat them like peanuts, a crunchy snack you munch with a beer. Edamame are an excellent source of high-quality protein — the beans have all of the amino acids, including the 8 not produced in our bodies. Also high in dietary fiber, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin A and folate. And then there are isoflavones — the powerful plant compounds that have been linked to everything from decreased heart disease to alleviating the symptoms of menopause.

Growing Guide

  • Variety: If you live in an area with short or cool summers, choose a variety that matures in less than 90 days. In the Deep South, choose a variety with a later maturation date or consider planting edamame for a spring/fall crop.
  • Soil preference: Edamame tolerate a wide range of soils, but delay planting until soil temperatures reach at least 60°F. Extend your harvest with succession plantings made at weekly intervals.
  • Inoculation: To increase the plants' nitrogen fixation, treat soybeans at planting with Rhizobium japonicum inoculant, available through seed catalogs which sell edamame.
  • Spacing: Edamame are well-suited to dense plantings. Plant in wide rows and space 4-inch apart in all directions.
  • Watering: Keep soil consistently moist and avoid soil crusting until emergence, then water only when soil is dry.
  • Fertilizing: Edamame perform well with moderate soil fertility. Compost or a balanced organic fertilizer are good choices.
  • Cultivation: Control weeds around seedlings with light cultivation until leaves shade out competition.

Pest Watch
Edamame are largely pest-resistant, but if you have problems with Bean Beetles or Stinkbugs they can be controlled with floating row covers or predatory insects (parasitic wasps, nematodes, ladybugs, and lacewings).

Harvesting
Edamame have a narrow harvest window of 3-7 days. Pick when beans have filled in the pod and before the pod begins to yellow. Chill the beans for several hours and then blanch the pods in boiling water just until the color deepens. The beans can then be refrigerated or frozen for later use.

Will post some pics of my plants as they grow, but here's one of the few pics I've been able to find of the plant growing and fruiting.

And just have to share this wierd recipe. Is it sweet or savoury:

Ingredients

7 ounces dry roasted edamame
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound 6 ounces sugar
12 ounces water

Directions

Place the edamame, soy sauce, cayenne pepper and salt into a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Line a half sheet pan with a silicone baking mat.

Place a 3-quart saucier inside a large cast iron skillet. Add the sugar and water to the saucier, and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until it comes to a boil. Stop stirring, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sugar is a light amber color, approximately 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the edamame mixture. Working quickly, pour the mixture onto the prepared half sheet pan and spread thin with an oiled spatula. You will have to work quickly when pouring out and spreading the mixture in the pan. Cool completely, approximately 30 minutes, and then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Found these at the Lawnton Fruit Mkts today. They look exactly the same as the seed I've been given so couldn't resist buying them to try growing. Ate two raw - not good. Dry and chewy. Will soak some to see if they're edible.

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Comment by Lissa on December 8, 2013 at 6:53

Finally! You've cracked it Joseph ;)

All jokes aside, it will boil down to differences in the soil and microclimate.

Spot on Ania. I used to try and change soil PH to grow things like Blueberries. I just don't have the time to bother these days. My hunt is for plants that will do well here without me going to any more trouble than I have to.

Comment by Ania on December 7, 2013 at 20:39
Could it be pH or something like that? I found since grouping plants accordingly and tweaking soil chemistry I have really increased my yield. I never considered it til my work sent me on an Aquarium Chenistry training course with Seachem in Sydney, about the true dynamics of soil and it's chemistry's relevance for success.
Comment by Joseph on December 7, 2013 at 20:29

I've figured it out. Whatever grows well here doesn't grow well or at all where you are. And vice versa :)

Comment by Lissa on December 7, 2013 at 6:21

This is my first time growing them, thanks to Joseph suggestion. Very interested to try them.

I had no luck with the sown seed and ended up buying a couple of seedlings. Might try to get back to the market and buy some more.

Comment by Ania on December 6, 2013 at 8:27

I just planted some edamame in loo rolls, hoping to put these in with my other beans and loganberry garden. I've eaten them at the Sushi train before, delish.

Comment by Wendy on November 8, 2013 at 4:10

As said earlier, great boiled and lightly salted...eat straight from the pod - serve warm in winder or cold in summer. Can get frozen ones at an Asian grocer. I bought seeds from an organic shop - just got a scoop full from the dried seeds section. Much cheaper than trying to buy from a nursery. Having said that, they were small - but that was probably just my poor green thumb more than anything.

Comment by Joseph on October 20, 2013 at 18:41

The beans we're grown vary in size considerably. Rob is dead right, not enough water equals skinny pods and microscopic beans. Mum grew hers in mushroom compost last summer and they were fatter and sweeter than the ones I grew in that rubbish $90/m3 Aussie Chook Poo "sand". They do look very much like the ones in the first photo. Harvested bags and bags of it last year.

Comment by Lissa on October 20, 2013 at 18:21

Suspect you are correct. I've soaked some and they're actually quite nice to eat. Nutty. I'll use these up in cooking.

Comment by Rob Walter on October 20, 2013 at 16:03

When I did all that research a while ago, I found that there are many different varieties of soy bean, each with different uses. The variety used for drying is not as sweet or as large as edamame, so if you do plant that packet, it's probably best as a dried bean or even just as a green mulch. Or you could use them in cooking.

Comment by Lissa on October 20, 2013 at 15:45

What do you reckon about these dried ones I found today Rob, do you think they might be worth trying to grow? If you hunted so hard for a good one chances are these are just also-rans.

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