FROM an article by the writer on Soya Beans in “HEAL THYSELF” for April, 1934, regarding their future in this country the following may be quoted:.
“The seeds will soon be acclimatized to produce good crops in England.”
“Besides providing a delightful new vegetable, the seeds saved should pay for all the trouble, and you will be able to say I grew them before the British farmer thought of doing so.”.
The two harvests that have since taken place have turned the above prophecy into accomplished facts.
There appears to be no reason why every enthusiastic food reformer with a small garden should not now try his, or her, hand at growing Soya Beans. The offering of acclimatized seeds, green, yellow, and brown, by the “Pitman” Health Food Co., for the first time in their March, 1935, catalogue resulted in their supplying a hundred packets within a few days, the demand continuing up to planting time, May 1st, when supplies were exhausted. For the next year or two it appears that it will pay both amateur gardeners and English farmers better to grow the beans for seed rather than for eating and manufacture.
Later it should provide the gardeners with a splendid addition to their bean crop and the farmer with an additional profitable crop for the oil crushers and a large number of other important purposes. The writer who has made a hobby of gardening for more years than he cares to count, considers that his 1935 crop of soya beans is the first thing he has ever grown that has paid him financially, but he has never grown anything with this end in view, but rather for health, exercise and the enjoyment obtained by providing fruit and vegetables better and fresher than he could otherwise have secured.
Four varieties were planted on May 1st, 1935, one row of black, five rows of brown, five rows of green, five rows of yellow. All seeds were planted 1 1/2″ to 2″ deep and about 3 1/2″ apart in the rows. Rows of yellow 33″ apart, green 27″, brown 30″, and black 36″.
Fourteen days later, May 15th, nearly 100 per cent. showed above the ground. Several night frosts followed and later spells of very dry weather and later still much rain and heavy winds, yet about twelve weeks after planting no plant appeared to have been adversely affected.
YELLOW soya beans at the end of August were about 24″ in height and all growing with one stem only from the ground, with no sign of blossom. These plants were the tallest of the lot and appeared to be the weakest, the leaves were also the greenest.
GREEN. The leaves of these were the greatest contrast in colour and darker than any other variety. The plants bushy and more like well-grown French beans, commencing to show a small white blossom. Height 14″ only, but like the brown and black appeared to be very strong and healthy.
BROWN. 18″ in height. Growth nearest to the habit of the yellow. One stem only from ground with much blossom, ground covered nearly as well as green.
BLACK. 16″ in height. Only kind that showed signs of leaves having been eaten by caterpillars or the like. Three or four strong stems grown from main stem, about 1 1/2″ from ground. Commencing to blown with a small pretty white flower, that later changed to blue. The same remarks apply to the other varieties in bloom.
There was not one withered plant showing in the whole patch, size about 45 feet by 27 feet.
On August 4th height of yellow beans was 30″ to 34″. Green 12″ to 18″. Brown 20″ to 24″, and Black 18″ to 24″.
Condition at end of August. Plants very strong. Yellow just started to bloom. Green seven stalks, pods 2″ long, six pods to stalks. Brown chief bloom on top of stalks, small pods formed 1/2″ long, much blossom below. Black, much less forward and very few set. Pods 1/2″ in length. Poorest growth of all for quality.
RESULTS OBTAINED IN HARVESTING THE DIFFERENT VARIETIES.
Number of seeds planted.
BLACK ….. 93
2 3/4 ozs.
3 1/2 ozs.
1 lb. 5 ozs.
8 lbs.10 ozs.
6 lbs.10 ozs.
7 lbs. 7 ozs.
THE NEW VEGETABLE FOR ENGLISH GARDENS.
To all those wishing to grow soya beans the following information may prove of special interest:.
BLACK BEANS: These are usually grown for cattle feeding by farmers, not for the beans as such, but there is no reason why they should not be grown for table use, as apart from colour if this is an objection there appears to be on other. In fact samples of the four kinds of tinned English beans were sent to Mr. C. C. Abbott, the noted Physio-Medical Practitioner, of Leigh, Lancashire, and he pronounced the black beans to be the best.