More on Tepary Beans….
According to Gary Paul Nabhan, an ethnobotanist, historians did not believe indigenous farming could exist in the southwest and intermountain west region. Tepary beans tell a different story, showing that indeed farming existed for centuries in these communities. This bean was most likely traded through the Mojave tribe to the Paiute who domesticated it, making it one of few food crops domesticated in North America. Typically grown with floodwaters diverted from desert washes, these beans have been known to germinate, set pod, and produce dry seed from a single drenching rain. This makes it one of the most drought, salt, and heat-tolerant legumes in the world, according to Nahban. We have found that it produces better under what would be stress for other crops and if given plentiful irrigation produces less. It was a staple crop in the southwest, Utah, and into Nevada until gas pumps and other irrigation systems allowed other more water-consuming crops to be produced. This variety exemplifies the qualities we are looking for. It is resilient, drought-tolerant, and tasty! We are grateful that Native Seed Search and others brought this seed back from the brink of extinction.