Podcast #131 – Lupin Is Pretty Cool

In general, home-scale fruit and vegetable growers don’t pay enough attention to cover crops. That’s particularly true here in the deep South, where cover crops during the dormant season can make a crucial difference in the amount of soil organic matter and therefore in the soil’s fertility.

We’ve had much to say about sunn hemp, and for good reason. It’s hardy and reliable, and it’s the all-time champion when it comes to fixing nitrogen and adding organic matter quickly. But sunn hemp is a summer cover crop. What options do you have during the winter, during the months that are for most of us the “off” season? Lupin is a great choice there.

In our podcast today we describe our admittedly limited experience with this fun little legume, why we’re pleased with the results, and what we plan to do differently in future years. We finish with a brief conversation about whether you can eat the lupin beans.

Listen — 20:06

You can see a maturing lupin plant here with four of those tasty beans forming up. You can also see how thin the foliage is, which is why lupin needs to be seeded pretty heavily to shade out weeds.

General Links:

The Longleaf Breeze Planting Database

The Longleaf Breeze Daily Farm Log

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