We grow heirloom asparagus beans (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis) also known as Chinese long beans, yardlong beans, snakes beans, and long-podded cowpeas. Ours usually grow 15-18” long, and our greatest success results from erecting an 8-10’ tall “teepee” Goethe beans to climb over the course of the summer.
Bountiful beans,— Geo Davis
climbing the teepee.
Most summers we grow both green-podded and red-podded asparagus beans, but this spring a squirrel got into our seed cache. Strangely enough the green-podded variety were out of stock. So instead we have lots and lots of red asparagus beans!
When they are still young and slender, they make a perfect snack plucked from the vine and eaten raw. Tender, crunchy, and with a flavor somewhere between a green bean and a nut (pecan crossed with cashew?) As the asparagus beans mature, often growing to a foot and a half or more, they’re better eaten cooked. We usually chop them into 1/2” pieces and sauté them with garlic and olive. A dash of salt and pepper, and they’re a delicious complement anything grilled or roasted.