the VELVET BEAN
Some honest words about a unique part of Nature
Velvetbeans in corn Velvetbean blooms
Top left: Velvetbean pods
Other stuff here plus a green cemetery site you will not forget.
Buy velvet beans
Several generations ago, the Wilkerson family settled on a farm in Glendale, a hamlet located ten miles north of DeFuniak Springs in Northwest Florida. Since then, crops profitable enough to grow ranged from cotton, corn, and soybeans to peanuts and chufa, depending on the vagaries of both the weather and the marketplace. Adjacent to the farm is a non-profit, green cemetery, Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve. For those looking for an inexpensive no-hassle burial of loved ones along with room for their pets.
Providing pasture was simple and relatively cheap, so adding cattle to the mix became an obvious way to increase income. Corn, of course, would fatten the cattle. And velvet beans, highly valued for adding nitrogen to the soil and as a food crop for cattle, would climb the cornstalks; so planting velvet beans was a no-brainer. Our velvet bean seeds have been handed down from our crops, and crops of other Florida panhandle farmers and cattlemen, generation after generation.
Today, interest in velvet beans has skyrocketed largely due to the reach of the Internet. Word has spread of their value beyond fertilizing the soil and as a protein source for domesticated animals and wildlife. Many websites tout the medicinal value of the L-dopa-laden beans, so we're growing more to meet the demand. We have restored a stone grist mill that we use to grind the beans into powder. When you see the video you will see what a family farmer can do when not in debt to corporate or investor bean counters. And as a small, family-run business, we live, eat, and breathe our seeds (along with a bit of dirt and dust!). We grow, nurture, harvest, dry, clean, bag, and store our own velvet beans, and we take great pride in them. We know that you will like our service, and you will love our seeds and find uses for powder. We enjoy serving you and learning about your successes. Please feel free to write or call with any questions you might have. Gristmill in Action! (for MAC) Gristmill in Action! (for PC) (Original video created by Ralgat Troll).
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The Velvet Bean is a strong-growing annual plant native to the tropics. Most of the varieties grown in the United States are M. deeringiana, although some are other Mucuna species or interspecies hybrids. The slender stems may grow to 30 feet. They are mainly grown with a support crop, usually corn, on which they climb.
The leaves are trifoliate, with large, ovate leaflets. Pods are pubescent, up to 6 inches long, with 3 to 6 seeds per pod. Velvet beans are well adapted to sandy soils and require a long growing season to produce much pasturage. They are grown mainly in the Southeastern Coastal Plain for late summer pasturage and soil improvement. All parts of the plant are nutritious and palatable to livestock.
Velvet beans come in a variety of colors, including white, black, brown, and mottled. There are 450 to 500 dried velvet beans per pound.
Upon further investigation, you will find that velvet beans are grown in third-world countries where the farmer cannot afford the equipment to plow his field. He will use this plant to strangle weeds, add much-needed nutrients and organic matter to the soil, and control soil erosion.
This is the plant you were looking for to add to the rotation crops you already plant in your food plots. It chokes out weeds and produces a viable food crop even in the driest of seasons, while improving the soil so your plots will draw more deer than your neighbor who uses other means to attract deer. All the while, you will be using less fertilizer, fewer chemicals, and most of all, less work.
Historically, velvet beans have been used in various ways. Depending on the era and custom, many cultures have touted their value as food and medicine. As a precursor to dopamine, the L-Dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-dopa) content (3 to 6 percent is considered average) accounts for some of the perceived medicinal value, including improved sleep, a sense of well-being, even muscle toning. Parkinson’s disease appears to be assuaged by the use of dopamine. In Brazil and India in particular, some formulations using velvet beans are considered aphrodisiacs.
Many other health and medicinal qualities have been asserted. See disclaimer below.
The velvet beans we grow are harvested from fields that have a few natural stones as well as typical agricultural plant debris. We carefully clean these beans, but be sure to sort and rinse them before using for any purpose.
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We do not believe disclaimers should be hidden in fine print. Here is an honest one:The FDA has not evaluated everything that you might read or hear about velvet beans, and we as the ecologically friendly farmers of these beans make no warranty nor suggestions for their use. We do, however, receive good feedback from our current customers. Since we grow these and other products ourselves (small plots of sweet corn or peanuts for example), as a single-family farm we do not have a legal staff or a laboratory to make ourselves invulnerable. The user's own research, therefore, is always an important tool re the usefulness and safety of any food or supplement.
© 2015 Glendale Enterprises, Inc.
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Note: Orders with free shipping are available only within the continental United States. For all other orders, please phone us.
Currently available Velvet beans and velvet bean products:
Velvet beans for consumption:
Whole, dried, raw beans; 450 to 500 beans per pound. Germination varies, but same L-dopa content (average 40 mg/g).
$20.00 per pound. Free shipping!
Velvet bean seeds for planting
$25.00 per pound. Free Shipping! Velvet bean powder (aka flour)
$30.00 per pound. Free Shipping!