Post last updated: August 13th, 2018
My butter beans sprouted in seven days and this is what they look like a day after they pop out of the soil. We Southerners do like our butter beans and ham.
Of course, the seed packet doesn’t refer to them as butter beans. It drives me nuts, and admittedly I don’t have far to go, when I can easily find butter beans in a grocery store can (at least in the Southern USA) but not in a garden catalog. What kind of insanity is that? Why didn’t they give all the limas a different name – butter beans, green limas, and a name for that small white lima bean? I have short hair. I don’t need to be pulling it out trying to determine exactly what bean I need to order to get butter beans.
Best I could figger, from searching all over the web, was to order and grow “King of the Garden” Lima Beans. I got mine from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. It helped that their catalog entry referred to them as “very LARGE white lima beans.” I knew that had to be the bean for which my southern heart was thumping. I ordered one seed packet and planted the whole packet of forty seeds in a 30 foot row. I could have used another five seeds because I had a little bit of row left over.
I have less gastric distress if I use dried beans versus canned. Thus, the whole point of growing butter beans is to experiment with making my own dried beans. I don’t always like the looks of the dried beans in the grocery store – sometimes they look old, broken, beat up or just plain filthy – so this is going to be one of those do-it-yourself projects. I found some decent directions at ifood for turning my crop into dried beans. We shall see what kind of success rate I have with my experiment.