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close this bookAmaranth to Zai Holes, Ideas for Growing Food under Difficult Conditions (ECHO; 1996; 397 pages)
View the documentOther ECHO publications
View the documentAbout this book
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contents1: Basics of agricultural development
Open this folder and view contents2: Vegetables and small fruits in the tropics
Open this folder and view contents3: Staple crops
Open this folder and view contents4: Multipurpose trees
Open this folder and view contents5: Farming systems and gardening techniques
Open this folder and view contents6: Soil health and plant nutrition
Open this folder and view contents7: Water resources
Open this folder and view contents8: Plant protection and pest control
Open this folder and view contents9: Domestic animals
Open this folder and view contents10: Food science
Open this folder and view contents11: Human health care
Open this folder and view contents12: Seeds and germplasm
Open this folder and view contents13: Energy and technologies
Open this folder and view contents14: From farm to market
Open this folder and view contents15: Training and missionary resources
Open this folder and view contents16: Oils
Open this folder and view contents17: Above-ground (urban) gardens
View the document18: What is ECHO?
View the documentAdditional ECHO publications
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes - issue 52
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes: issue 53
close this folder28 additional technical notes about tropical agriculture
View the documentA few alternate seed sources that we commonly use
View the documentAmaranth - grain and vegetable
Open this folder and view contentsArid region farming primer
View the documentCitrus propagation and rootstocks
Open this folder and view contentsCucurbit seeds
Open this folder and view contentsDry farming
View the documentMuscovy ducks for png villages
View the documentFruit crops
View the documentFruit vegetables
View the documentGrain crops
View the documentGround covers and green manures
View the documentGreen manure crops
View the documentIndustrial crops
View the documentThe lablab bean as green manure
View the documentLeafy vegetables
View the documentLeguminous vegetables
View the documentThe moringa tree
View the documentRecipes to learn to eat moringa
View the documentMiscellaneous vegetables
View the documentThe poor man's plow
View the documentPulses (grain legumes)
View the documentRabbit raising in the tropics
View the documentLetter from fremont regier, mennonite central committee, Botswana (and earlier in Zaire)
View the documentRoots and tubers
View the documentSunnhemp as a green manure
View the documentThe sweet potato
View the documentTropical pasture and feed crops
View the documentThe velvet bean as green manure
Open this folder and view contentsPrinciples of agroforestry
Open this folder and view contentsGood nutrition on the small farm

Pulses (grain legumes)

Pulses are legumes which produce seeds that are harvested when dry, then cooked for human food. They are high in protein and can substitute for meat in the diet. Oil content ranges from almost none to high. They also provide good quantities of B vitamins. Carbohydrate contents vary, but often include long chain carbohydrates that are difficult to digest and lead to flatulence (gas). Most grain legumes contain antinutrients or poisonous substances and need to be thoroughly cooked before eating. Under proper conditions they can be stored for many years.

Some grain legumes are commonly used for other purposes, as edible leaves or leguminous vegetables, in which case the same species will be mentioned in more than one section of this publication. Most tropical grain legumes are annuals, but some are weakly perennial. Their climatic adaptation varies, and some have severe insect and disease problems which limit their use. Variety trials are desirable, as there may be considerable variation within a species. ECHO's varieties represent a small proportion of those available, and there are many minor species not in ECHO's collection.

See A Comparison of Pulses

• Bush bean. Phaseolus vulgaris. 'Contender'-see Leguminous vegetables.

• Chickpea (Garbanzo). Cicer arietum. Cool-season crop; drought tolerant; immature beans used as a vegetable.

• Cowpea. Vigna unquiculata. Thailand long bean (catjang)-very productive climbing or trailing vine; 8-10" pods; must be harvested before it becomes stringy; tasty, disease-resistant. Yardlong beans. (EDN 23-6).

• Cowpea. Vigna sinensis. Cowpea (black-eyed pea).

• Fava or broad bean. Vicia faba. See Leguminous Vegetables.

• Hopi Red Lima bean. Phaseolus lunatus. Very drought tolerant.

• Horse gram. Dolichos biflorus. Tolerates drought and poor soils; small seeds; rarely attacked by insects or disease; eaten boiled or fried.

• Lablab bean. Dolichos lablab. (See Leguminous Vegetables.) All varieties (Red, White, Rongai, and Highworth) can be used as pulses. (EDN 20-5, 31-3).

• Lentil. Lens culinaris. Crimson variety of drought-resistant Middle Eastern pulse. Early blooming date. (EDN 40-7).

• Marama bean. Tylosema esculentum. Drought-resistant bean from Kalahari desert; roast in the shell to get a hickory-smoked cashew taste. (EDN 42-2).

• Moth bean. Vigna acontifolia. Yellow brown-annual vine; small seeds; mat-like growth that protects soil surface; adapted to poor soils but needs good drainage; needs short days; highly drought tolerant; 22-24% protein.

• Mung bean (Green gram). Phaseolus aureus. Early-maturing bush or slightly vine-like herb; high-yielding, widely adaptable.

• Nuna (Popping bean). Phaseolus vulgaris. Requires short days to flower.(EDN 29-1).

• Pigeon pea. Cajanus cajan Khaki-indeterminate, large seeds, from Puerto Rico. 2-B Bush-determinate, from Puerto Rico. Peruvian. Black-seeded. Martha White/Goya. Short duration. Gray. (EDN 29-4,5, 38-6).

• Rice bean. Vigna umbellata. Slender twining vine; drought resistant; needs well-drained soils; intercropped, often with rice.

• Soybean Glycine max.Duocrop-tropical. Braxton and Wright-temperate. Davis-subtropical. (EDN 15-2, 24-3, 25-5). Temporarily out of stock.

• Tarwi.Lupinus mutabilis. High in protein and oil, does well on marginal soils. High altitude crop; does not produce seed in Florida. (EDN 29-1).

• Tepary bean. Phaseolus acutifolius. Intolerant of frost and standing water; requires low humidity; very drought tolerant; yields variable and generally low. Only virus-free seed is sent overseas. Also may select a disease-resistant variety trial; select best colors for your area: white, black, yellow/tan, gray, red speckled (EDN 2-2, 11-3, 34-6). Note: many people groups are particular in what color of bean they will eat.

• Urd bean, yellow. Phaseolus mungo. Also called black gram; differs from mung bean in that urd beans have erect pods, longer hairs and longer seeds; more drought resistant than mung beans.

• Velvet bean. Mucuna deeringiana. All varieties vigorous, somewhat drought tolerant; good green manures; beans used in various recipes, or roasted and ground as a coffee substitute, although they may be dangerous to eat. Tropical-requires short days (long nights) for flowering and pod production. 90-day-day length neutral, but less vigorous than the tropical type; has irritating hairs, so cover arms during harvest. NOTE: IT MAY NOT BE SAFE TO EAT THE BEANS, THOUGH SOME DO. EXERCISE CAUTION AND WATCH FOR ANY SIDE EFFECTS. (EDN 20-3, 24-4,5,6, 31-6, 37-1,2, 43-5).

• Winged bean.Psophocarpus tetragonolubus Request TN for cooking information. See under Leguminous Vegetables.

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