We’ve been growing a beautiful crop this summer. Any guesses on what plant is pictured above?
If you guessed some kind of legume, you’re right! This is a chickpea plant, a middle-eastern variety which produces black peas.
The phases of maturity of the chickpea, from soft and green to dry and black, are shown at right.
Once the plants are completely dry, you can pop open the pods and collect the dry beans. For processing copious amounts of dry beans, most farms use a threshing machine. For small amounts, you can do it by hand . . . or by feet! This week, with the help of the Waldorf 3rd grade, we threshed the chickpeas by doing a little bit of dancing.
Check out our process in this video!
Chickpea dance from Whidbey Institute on Vimeo.
The chickpeas are hard enough that even a good stomping won’t break them. After we had jumped on the plants, we took away the plant matter to reveal a tarp full of little black chickpeas! What a quick and fun way to harvest!