Sweet Lupine, "Dieta"
(Lupinus albus) I am surprised by the number of people I talk to who aren't familiar with Lupine as a food crop, even those deep down the rabbit hole of unusual regional foods. We first encountered them on the coast of Portugal almost two decades ago, where the large seeds are cooked and brined as a salty snack you might find alongside olives and pickled vegetables. Known as Lupini in Italy, they are fairly common throughout parts of the Mediterranean, Egypt and North Africa, and South America. We have tried to grow Lupini in the past and frankly, the amount of work that went into making them palatable was discouraging.
The large seeded varieties most commonly used for lupini have very high levels of alkaloids that make them not only toxic but unpalatably bitter. They require a process of soaking and rinsing many times over many days to leach out the alkaloids and frankly, never felt worth the trouble on a home scale.
Varieties of "sweet lupines" have been developed in several parts of the world by researchers as a high protein forage crop for grazing, but in the UK it is also being worked on as an alternative legume for human use. It's a low-input crop with up to 35-40% dry material protein content at harvest, and while having a significantly smaller seed than the larger varieties it is bitter-free. We were able to source some seeds from Real Seeds in the UK, a stalwart of vegetable biodiversity, in early 2022 and managed a successful crop with surprisingly high yields, 10# from just about 35 plants. Although its a new crop for us and we are just beginning to work with it, we decided to make it available as it is not very readily available in North America. We look forward to hearing back from you if you try it. Spring sown, Late-summer harvest.
120 days. UO
*** Please note: most lupine seeds are poisonous and should not be eaten! ***
Packet: 25 seeds
Product Code: LUP-DT-pkt
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