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Great Garbanzos! Growing, harvesting, cooking and loving chickpeas.  RSS feed

r ranson
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Posts: 6028
Location: Left Coast Canada
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The chickpea (Cicer arietinum), also called garbanzo bean, is popular because it's easy to grow, delicious to cook, helps the soil, and is an extremely nutritious staple crop. 

This thread is for celebrating chickpeas and glorious garbanzo beans.  It's about growing, breeding, cooking, and anything else chickpea that pops up. 


Plant them in the spring at the same time as garden peas.  Some chickpeas will overwinter in mild climates like the Pacific north-west and north Africa, which makes for a much higher yield. Coming from a Mediterranean clime, Chickpeas are on of the few pulses that grow well where I am.  They adore wet winters and dry summers.

They are also excelent nitrogen fixers. 

Chickpeas come in many different colours from beige, to brown, to red, to black, to almost white. 

Black Kabuli chickpeas

Plant 18" apart in rows 1 foot apart.  Mulch when the weather starts to warm to keep the soil moist and the weeds down. 


This old world pulse is one of the few pulses with mostly soluble fibre.  Basically, what this means is that people on a low fibre diet (like those with Crohn's disease) can enjoy chickpeas. 

Chickpeas can be cooked like other pulses, eaten young and fresh from the plant, ground into flour, mashed into hummus and some can even be popped like popcorn.  Carol Deppe talks about popbeans in her book The Resilient Gardener.  Chickpeas also make fantastic miso paste.  It's easy to make chickpea miso at home - possibly the easiest miso to make. 

The leaves of the chickpea plant can be 'milked' for an acid which is supposed to make an amazing condiment.  I haven't tried this yet, but apparently, one goes out to the chickpeas in the early morning and uses a cloth to wipe off the dew.  The cloth is then wrung out and the liquid collected. 


One can harvest chickpea seed from their grocery shop.  It's good to do a germination test on them first, but I find they usually have 90% or higher.

For specialty, organic chickpea seed, here's a list of a few places that I've seen them for sale.

Salt Spring Island Seeds
golden garbanzos at baker creak seeds
Carol Deppe seeds

A pretty small list, eh?  That's because not many places sell them yet.  But It's catching on.

With so much variety and so much goodness, no wonder chickpeas are the main staple crop of so many cultures. 
Let's chat about chickpeas.  Growing them, enjoying them, any questions, troubles, triumphs or curiosities. 
Tracy Wandling
Posts: 1650
Location: Cortes Island, British Columbia. Zone: 8ish Lat: 50; Rainfall: 50" ish; sand and rocks; well water
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I'm hoping to grow some this year. I would love to grow Carol Deppe's Hannan Popbean. It sounds like a wonderful snack food. We're trying to eat healthier , but the man doesn't like beans or chickpeas, and he's a 'snacker' so I'm thinking this will be an excellent way to get some healthy snacks happening. I've been excited about them ever since I read about them in her book, The Resilient Gardener!
André Troylilas
Posts: 144
Location: North of France
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I am currently growing brown and white chickpeas. They don't like my soil for the time being (I get less than what I sowed).
I hope I will soon be able to source Black Kabuli and the Popbean.
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I planted garbanzo beans day before yesterday, March 13th. That's a few days after the winter snowcover melted. I also planted a row last fall, and included them in the fall cover-crop. They didn't survive the winter as small plants, though I often have volunteers that show up about this time in the spring. Sometimes I move the volunteers into a row.

My favorite way to eat chickpeas is fresh from the vine. They typically only have one or two peas per pod, so that makes them all the more delectable.

One of my favorite varieties are what I think of as "Red-leaved".

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Lofthouse Landrace Garbanzo Beans
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Chickpea Plants
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A typical garbanzo bean seedling.
Maureen Atsali
Posts: 354
Location: Western Kenya
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I have never tried growing garbanzos. Never even crossed my mind till just now.  This growing season I am experimenting with lentils.  Maybe next season I will try chick peas.  I love to throw them into my salads.
Natasha Flue
Posts: 8
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I'm planning to grow the golden garbanzo beans from Baker Creek this year.

I've also tossed them with cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven. They're delicious!
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