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(Lupinus affn. Angustifolius) Joe believes that Nabah Cairo is a variety of Lupinus angustifolius. This smaller seeded species is commonly cultivated and has been for about 1500 years or more in Egypt and Northern Africa. Although these edible Lupins are commonly cultivated in the Mediterranean and also Eastern Europe most gardeners in North America don’t know very much about this treasure of a food producing plant. Lupinus angustifolius (with blue flowers) is an important crop that needs to be promoted all over the world. In the middle east and northern Africa Lupines are eaten as a part of the meal or as an appetizer. They are generally soaked in water for a day or so and rinsed several time before being soaked in brine or salted. They are soaked because they have bitter properties and the soaking leaches out this bitterness. Lupins are generally recognized as “inedible” by American gardeners who are only familiar with very bitter floral species. . This variety and others that we are offering for the first time this year are domesticated- cultivated food crops. They should be planted as early as the ground can be worked. Lupines thrive in the cooler weather of early spring. Joe does not know how long these will take to produce ripe seed, however, from 3-4 months is probably the average. Good fertile soil is important. If you grow these well you will also be rewarded with beautiful flowers! Lupine seeds are extremely nutritious and have up to 50 percent protein content! As mentioned the flowers are worthy of cultivation alone making this a great plant to try out for food or flowers! PLEASE NOTE: Those with soy, nut or peanut allergies may experience a similar reaction when eating edible lupines.
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What are the pros? Low maintenance
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I planted these in 6-packs in March (outside) and transplanted to my garden around mid-April. They germinated and transplanted very well and have been growing steadily since (it is now late May 2015). They flowered in early May when only about a foot tall and now have pods forming on the initial flower spikes (light blue fading to white - not as showy as flowering lupines but lovely to have in your vegetable garden). Additional flower heads are forming and I expect that by the time the plants are spent, they will have produced a good amount of seeds. They have responded well to organic fertilizer once a month (it does not appear to have disrupted flower or pod production). The plants are spaced about a foot apart and they seem to be ok with this spacing. They continue to produce and have not yet crowded each other; this may happen as they continue to grow but so far they seem fine. I will update once I harvest pods and prepare the beans.
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