Category Archives: Beneficial Insectary

Scarlet Runner Bean – Phaseolus coccineus

"Phaseolus coccineus"

Scarlet Runner Bean

Scarlet Runner Beans!  This nitrogen-fixing legume is not only delicious, beautiful and easily grown in the Bay Area – it’s a perennial.  The advantages to planting perennials are numerous.  For starters, you don’t have to re-seed each season saving you time and money.  Because perennials have several years (in this case usually three) to thrive, their root systems are quite established and can pull important nutrients from deep in the soil.

The Scarlet Runner Bean is hardy to zone 10 and pollinated by bees!  Soak the seeds prior to planting and make sure to find a sunny position with ample room for the legume to “run” climb sometimes as high as two meters.

Find more information here and a salad recipe here.

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Filed under Beneficial Insectary, Edible, Nitrogen Fixing, Plants

Siberian Pea Shrub – Caragana arborescens

"Caragana arborescens"

Siberian Pea Tree

The Siberian Pea Shrub is a nitrogen-fixing perennial shrub that can be planted with success in the Bay Area.  Growing 4-6 meters tall it grows edible seed pods that are somewhat bland, but can be added to other meals.  This plant provides excellent chicken forage and can be grown inside fenced chicken areas because of its height.

Siberian Pea Shrub’s have been used as living fences and are noted for their “attractive” quality when attempting to distract deer from the rest of the garden.

The Pea Shrubs root system is extensive and the shrub should be used to mitigate erosion and build wind blocks.  This shrub is pollinated by bees!!

Plant on a sunny edge in your garden or in the chicken area (if the seedling is tall enough) and harvest the small, but highly nutritious seeds in the Spring and  Summer.

More information here.

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Filed under Beneficial Insectary, Edible, Nitrogen Fixing, Permaculture, Plants