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By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter
About ten years ago, I got my first taste of edamame.
I was not into the health food claims of this food but instead wanted to try something different.
My first attempt with this culinary delight was not that great.
I cooked up my edamame and began to eat it like sugar snap peas. As you can imagine, the dish was very distasteful and chewy.
Once I realized you did not eat the pods, I began to love them.
In my quest to eat only what I grow, I began to look into growing my own soybeans.
Soybeans or edamame is a low-growing type of bush bean that requires a lot of sun. My journey into soybean production began when the soil warmed to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Prior to planting, I prepared the soil by adding a lot of organic material along with an organic 5-10-10 fertilizer.
Once that was done, it was time to prepare the seed. Soybean seeds need to be treated with an inoculant powder, which is a beneficial bacterium. This bacterium helps the soybean capture nitrogen from the air and moves it to the roots of the plant where it can be used by the plant.
To apply the inoculant powder, one must first moisten the soybean seeds with water and then sprinkle the powder on top.
Now it is time to plant the soybeans. Edamame seeds should be planted one inch deep and three inches apart. Water in well and keep the seeds evenly moist.
After the seeds have germinated, mulch around the plants but make sure not to build up the mulch around the stems.
Continue to monitor the soil moisture making sure the plants receive one inch of water a week.
When the beans are touching each other inside the pod, it is time to pick the edamame. The easiest way of doing this is to simply pull the plant up and remove the pods from the plants.
So until we blog again, take your taste buds on a trip to the orient by growing your own edamame.