Garbanzo, Black Sicilian (Organic)
Cicer arietinum. Black.
Garbanzo beans are also known as chickpeas or ceci in Italian. This Sicilian variation, ceci neri, is similar to the more common Black Kaboulli garbanzo. Germinates easily in cool soil. Large, bushy plants produce well and are ready to harvest before the rains in autumn. Flavor is similar to the tan types but a bit nuttier and can be used in any recipe that calls for garbanzo beans. Black chickpeas are common in India where they are made into salad or channa masala; in Italy they are cooked with pasta or made into creamy soups. We would like to thank Lane Selman of the Culinary Breeding Network for bringing this one back from Italy and sharing it with us. Now we can share it with you.
Direct sow 1” deep when soil temps have reached 45°F, ideally by early May. Garbanzo beans are frost tolerant so may be sown as early as March. Plant at 4-6” in-row spacing with 12” between rows. Leaflets contain skin irritants – wear gloves. For harvest, pull entire plants and allow to after-ripen before processing. Collect seeds from beans that are fully dry. Shell by hand or by dancing on the dry pods, winnow or screen to clean. Test for dryness with a hammer – dry beans shatter, moist beans squish.
Garbanzo beans are self-pollinating and do not need isolation for seed saving purposes.