Ex Koanga, found some years ago at a garage sale of an elderly woman in Christchurch. “During the Second World War her husband was captured & taken to a POW camp in northern Italy. He escaped & took to the mountains with the partisans to live as a guerrilla for a lengthy period. On repatriation back to NZ, he stood on parade, stripped to underwear & boots & passed inspection with his socks full of beans. While in Italy he had become very attached to these beans & was determined to grow them here on his return. A vigorous climber with large leaves (a little wind tender), growing to at least 2m. They very much resent being stopped in their upward growth. Only when they reach the top of what they are growing on do they flower, & then they flower all the way back down to their base. They have insignificant, tan coloured flowers, and wide, light green, stringless beans which are very fleshy & fat with a pronounced bump where each seed is. Beans are in bunches & are easy to find because of their colour. Apparently in Italy these beans are traditionally eaten with a dressing of crushed garlic steeped in olive oil. We find garlic butter is a great NZ substitute.” (1996 Koanga newsletter). From James Manser, 2018; Mandy Drake, 2018; Marina Steinke, 2018; Marina Steinke, 2016; Sue Batty, Lincoln, 2016; Alan Nilsen, Christchurch, 2015; K.Herdman, Rapahoe, 2015.
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