Garbanzo beans with sweet, little seed pods!

June 17, 2009 | By | Comments (8)

My beloved garbanzo beans have grown fuzzy, adorable seed pods.


This is
another first time crop for me, so
I’m anxiously tending to them and gently trying to coax them into
maturity (mostly by talking to them and reading up on growing conditions).

I’m trying to figure out when they’re ready and am getting a bit confused. The horticulture department at Purdue (high up in a google search) says they are ready between 3 and 7 months. How helpful! The same site lists the traditional medicinal uses as, “aphrodisiac, bronchitis,
catarrh, cutamenia, cholera, constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia,
flatulence, snakebite, sunstroke, and warts.” Impressive — I don’t even know what a few of those conditions are!On second thought, the 4 month range might have something to to do with the fact that you can eat them fresh when they immature, or wait until the plant browns and eat them as dry beans. I like these instructions: Chickpeas
for fresh eating can be picked when pods are still immature and green;
they can be eaten like snap beans. For dried chickpeas, harvest the
entire plant when the leaves have withered and turned brown; place the
plant on a flat, warm surface and allow the pods to dry. Collect the
seed as the pods split. Seeds that will barely dent when bitten are
sufficiently dry.

I will graciously accept any advice from you, dear reader. Do I cut the water in order to get them to brown? Dried versus fresh? It’s my gut to eat them fresh since that seems to be a major perk of growing them.

Side note: I found an empty garbanzo bean pod on the ground after Celebration Weekend and nearly cried. Garden etiquette, people! I had one man PLUCK more than a few leaves of my tarragon to ask me for a plant ID. Now I know none of you would ever do that, right? Especially in the test garden, where everything has the intention of being photographed for the magazine.



  1. LA’s edibles rooftop – Westphoria | A blog by Sunset

    [...] manar cucumbers, borage flowers, and fresh black garbanzo beans (so amazing when eaten fresh! I grew them long ago for the One Block [...]

    August 15, 2012 at 4:00 am
  2. hiyakitty

    i have a mexican grocer down the street from where i live and once in a while they will have these pods for about 2 bucks a pound. i add a little olive oil to a baking sheet that has been covered with alumininum foil and roll the rinsed pods around in oil and then i add some lime juice or powder, chile powder and some sea salt and roll the pods around again. i then roast the pods at 350 degrees for aobut 20 minutes. i eat them like edemame…they are so deliciou!

    July 29, 2009 at 7:50 pm
  3. K Dilley

    Thanks for this post. I’ve never seen chickpeas growing before and they are really beautiful! Now, I really want to grow them and try them green like the other commenters have suggested!

    June 27, 2009 at 7:27 pm
  4. Hank

    I overwinter mine, and don’t even plant until October. Garbanzos HATE hot weather, and will shrivel and die in temps above 95 degrees, which is basically every summer day here in Sacto.

    Eat them green. No point in drying them, as dried chickpeas are a dime a dozen. Green ones are expensive and hard to find. A delicacy.

    Gently cook them like green favas, make green hummus or just eat them with good olive oil, shaved parmesan, a little preserved lemon and some capers…

    June 24, 2009 at 8:36 pm
  5. Emily

    They’ll start to dry out on their own – then quit watering them. Wait as long as you can to pick them, but if it’s a cold, wet fall, you can pick them, shell them, and dry them indoors on a cookie sheet. Just leave them on the counter for a couple days, rolling them to be sure they dry evenly.

    June 19, 2009 at 1:05 am
  6. Allyson

    I love finding out how produce I take for granted grows, and this post definitely opened my eyes! I had no idea how garbanzo beans were grown, and had no idea that they could be eaten fresh before they turn into the dried beans I buy in bags from the grocery store. How cool!

    June 18, 2009 at 3:52 pm
  7. pedroza family

    I can relate to fruit pickers. A few weekends ago we had family and friends over and I gave a tour of our garden. The next day I discovered I had no more raspberries… :(

    June 18, 2009 at 7:20 am
  8. Diana Foss

    I don’t know how many you have planted, but I would pick them green and eat them roasted and salted in the pod. (OK, you don’t eat the pod. You pop them out like edamame.) I bought a pound of green garbanzos last year (at the Slow Food Civic Center market in SF, actually) and ate them that way, and they were absolutely delicious.

    Of course, if you want to make one-block hummus, then you’ll have to let some dry on the vine, as well.

    And I have to add that I’ve grown garbanzos just once, when my son was a baby, and he loved to eat the young beans from the shell out in the garden.

    June 18, 2009 at 12:12 am

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