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Tarwi/chocho cultivation

 
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Hola desde los estados unidos!

I'm hoping someone here can provide information on the cultivation and consumption of tarwi/tahuri/chocho (lupinus mutabilis). I'm grateful to have received some seeds and excited to trial this traditional crop in my region. I'm interested to learn any common practices for growing them. It looks like direct sowing after the last frost is sufficient, but I'd be curious if seeds are ever soaked or scarified before planting (like is recommended for some lupinus species), if the soil is amended in any way, or anything else related to the growing of this crop.

I've gathered that they are often used in soups and stews after processing (it looks like soaking in at least 3 changes of water over 48 hours is sufficient.) I've also seen a dish where they were pureed. It also looks like perhaps they are pickled and eaten as a snack? I'd love to hear any additional information on processing the tarwi and recipes/common uses.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Hi, Mathew

I enjoy reading about new plants that I have not heard of.

I hope you will not mind if I share what I found about Lupinus mutabilis.

These are the beans:



Source




Source


The flowers and the plants:



Source


The bone-white seed contains more than 40% protein and 20% fat and has been used as a food by Andean people since ancient times, especially in soups, stews, salads, and by itself mixed with boiled maize.





https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupinus_mutabilis

Thanks for sharing out these beans.  I hope you have success in planting them.
 
Mathew Trotter
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Assuming these attachments work, here are two cookbooks I managed to glean during my research. Spanish language, but not terrible to translate if your Spanish is rusty or non-existent (also includes amaranth, quinoa, and a few other Andean crops.)

William Whitson at Cultivariable probably has the best English language information I've been able to find.

Also, there are a variety of seed colors, though white is the most common. I was hoping to get a variety of seed colors to work with but all of the ones I received were white-seeded varieties.
Filename: Andean-Recipes-INIAP.pdf
File size: 4 megabytes
Filename: Andean-Recipes-Oxfam.pdf
File size: 8 megabytes
 
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I did not know that there where american lupine species ! This brought me to discover the Sundial Lupine (lupinus perennis) a cold hardy (zone 3) perennial lupine. I wonder if anybody here grows it for food ? I'm guessing the seeds are smaller and the plants less productive than the domesticated tarwi, but targeted breeding could improve that. It would make a great addition in a permaculture garden.

I dont know if hybridizing with tarwi is possible, but it might not be a good idea, since the sundial lupine is the only host plant for blue karder butterfly caterpilars and these are endangered I believe. I guess any responsible breeding project would have to give special attention to it's continued suitability for blue karder caterpilars.
 
Patrick Marchand
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Someone on Mastodon shared a link about the history of lupine cultivation with me: https://lupins-bk.blogspot.com/2006/07/history-of-lupin-domestication.html

It covers mostly european lupine, but does talk about tarwi.
 
Mathew Trotter
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Patrick Marchand wrote:Someone on Mastodon shared a link about the history of lupine cultivation with me: https://lupins-bk.blogspot.com/2006/07/history-of-lupin-domestication.html

It covers mostly european lupine, but does talk about tarwi.



That was a really great read.

As far as hybridizing goes, I was definitely interested in developing a perennial variety, but not as much now. For starters, the fat and protein content in Tarwi is what I consider one of its major benefits, and that fat and protein profile isn't present in other species and would likely be lost in the hybridization process. It's really hard to find annual crops with worthwhile fat content in a temperate region, except those which wood only be pressed for oil, not used as a whole food.

Also, I've seen what happens when a successful nitrogen fixer moves into an environment where it can perennialize... especially when its alkaloid content prevents it from being consumed by wildlife. It doesn't strike me as the sort of thing that would be exceptionally aggressive, but the potential for it to develop a relative monocrop is enough to discourage my attempts. That's assuming they'd hybridize at all; I'm not sure what their genetic makeup looks like. But considering you could easily go from 1 plant to 100,000 in 2 generations, it's just the kind of fire that doesn't seem wise to play with.

I did find someone that was working with a number of lupines, including L. perennis, in the Cultivariable group on Facebook. I believe his goal was to use the resulting crop as feed for farmed fish. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ
 
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Patrick Marchand wrote:I did not know that there where american lupine species ! This brought me to discover the Sundial Lupine (lupinus perennis) a cold hardy (zone 3) perennial lupine. I wonder if anybody here grows it for food ? I'm guessing the seeds are smaller and the plants less productive than the domesticated tarwi, but targeted breeding could improve that. It would make a great addition in a permaculture garden.

I dont know if hybridizing with tarwi is possible, but it might not be a good idea, since the sundial lupine is the only host plant for blue karder butterfly caterpilars and these are endangered I believe. I guess any responsible breeding project would have to give special attention to it's continued suitability for blue karder caterpilars.



I have also been curious if North America perennial lupine (Lupinus perennis) can be soaked and leached like tarhui. I found an account on the PFAF website claiming this is possible, but I have yet to verify this through ethobotanical records or foraging books.
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lupinus+perennis
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