The cultivation of beans in Spain, (Alubias or frijoles), is very abundant, especially in regions with temperate climates and suitable soils. There are different varieties such as white beans, red beans, green beans (kidney beans) and pinto beans. The selected varieties arose from local preferences and the specific growing conditions of each region of one of the most coveted vegetables and legumes, beans in Spain, both green and grain. We are going to detail its cultivation, especially controlled with probes.
Cultivation of beans
They are plants of the leguminous family, which consume their green pod and dry grain.
The main characteristic is that it is an annual plant, that is, you have to sow the grain every season you want to grow it. We can find low branch or climbing branch beans. Its pod-shaped fruit can be elongated or rounded.
The varieties to eat, such as green beans, are usually specific for that consumption, although once the pod has developed, the grain is also edible. Other varieties are special for dry beans, such as pinto beans, those from Barco de Ávila, the Asturian... Its pod is not edible, because it is harder.
Phenological process and irrigation
Beans prefer temperate or warm climates. The ideal temperature for growing beans is between 18°C and 27°C. Frost can damage young plants, so it is recommended to avoid cultivation in times of risk of frost. Additionally, beans need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
We must also control the pests of snails that feed on the shoots.
The soil for growing beans must be well drained and fertile. A soil rich in organic matter and with a pH between 6 and 7 is recommended. The soil must have a good structure, allow root development and adequate access to nutrients and water.
Before planting, we must prepare the soil properly. Weeds must be removed and plowing or superficial tillage can be carried out to loosen the soil and remove clods, as well as aerate and oxygenate it. It is very positive to increase with organic substances or fertilizers according to soil analysis and specific nutrient needs.
It is advisable to follow an adequate crop rotation to avoid the accumulation of diseases and pests specific to beans. Avoiding the consecutive cultivation of legumes in the same place can help maintain soil health and prevent phytosanitary problems.
Bean seeds can be sown directly into the soil to a depth of approximately 2-5 cm, depending on the size of the seeds. The distance between plants and rows varies according to the variety and the growing system, but it is generally recommended to leave a space of 10-15 cm between plants and 40-60 cm between rows.
Beans require a regular supply of water for optimal growth. Irrigation must be adequate to keep the soil moist but without stagnation. It is important to avoid periods of drought and water stress, especially during flowering and pod formation.
Beans have certain nutritional requirements. Before planting, organic or inorganic fertilizers can be applied depending on soil needs and nutrient analysis. Additionally, additional fertilizer applications can be made during plant growth if necessary.
Control of weeds, diseases and pests:
It is important to control weeds to avoid competition for nutrients, water, and light. Mechanical control methods such as hand weeding or mulching can be used. In addition, common bean diseases and pests such as downy mildew, gray mold, whitefly, and aphids should be monitored and controlled using preventative methods and natural treatments.
The roots are fine and therefore delicate, it has a main one and the rest are secondary and shallow, this means that they require controlled irrigation and a constant supply of nutrients to keep the plant vigorous.
It can be grown outdoors or in a greenhouse where we must control the environmental humidity, around 70%. For its optimal growth, temperatures should not vary more than ten degrees between day and night, not supporting those below 0ºC or above 40ºC.
In all its phenological state, growth, flowering and fruit it needs a lot of humidity and in a stable way.
Control with probes makes irrigation ideal and at the same time we give what the plant needs, thus achieving considerable water savings.
The probes adapt to the depth of the root system, providing information in real time.
- Beans that sprout with humidity.
- Sowing dry beans.
- Seed germination.
- Climbing up the tutor.
- The fruit ready to pick.
- Humidity probe controlling the ideal growth of the beans.
Different names of beans in Spain
As a curiosity to say that they adopt different names depending on the region where they are harvested:
- Castilla: Beans, kidney beans.
- Catalán: Fesols secs, monguetas, bullides, fregides i cuites.
- Galician: Frexels, fabas.
- Basque: Lekak, indiaba, maillar, potxa, babarrunak.
- Flat green beans, they can reach 20 centimeters or more. There is also a yellow variety and a green one with purple tones, all very tender. They are consumed before the maturity of the fruit.
- Round , usually come from low plants and less production. The pod is consumed before producing the fruit and the grain when the pod hardens and dries.
- Black beans, very tasty for stews.
- Black, more typical of Ibero-American countries.
- White beanss, especially for making stews.
- Habichuelas or dried green beans, good for stews or Galician broth.
- Kidney-shaped, due to their shape, they are good for cooking.
- Finally, the rounded beans, very good for fabada.
The southern area produces more in the greenhouse and in the cold seasons. In the northern area it is grown outdoors and in summer.
Greenhouse productions make beans in Spain the leading exporter in Europe.
Recipes with beans in Spain
- 1/4 KILO OF WHITE BEANS.
- A POTATO
- HALF AN ONION.
- TWO CLOTHES OF GARLIC.
- FRESH CHORIZO AND PIG FOOT.
- A SPURT OF OIL.
- PAPRIKA, SALT AND PEPPER.
- We put the beans the day before to soak.
- Cook the pig's foot for an hour. If we make it cooked we can cook it, it is very gelatinous and not very greasy. Also, the broth then curdles and keeps better. We keep it in the freezer and we have it ready for when we make the beans.
- In a pot, which can be express, we put all the ingredients, covering it with water. the onion without chopping and the garlic with skin.
- If we put them in a conventional pot, they take about two hours to cook and we must check every half hour if the water is good and it is favorable to add a splash of cold water. If we do it in the express pot, we must program 1/2 hour and check the water and cooking. If they lack a little, it is better to leave them over low heat.
- The cooking at the end must be very slow.
- Finally, in the blender glass we put the onion, a clove of garlic and half a potato. We crush it and add it, that makes the look thicker.
It has all the properties of beans and the vegetable protein of rice. The beneficial properties of garlic
- A CUP OF PINTO BEANS.
- RICE, A HANDFUL PER DINER.
- SWEET PAPRIKA.
- EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL.
- Cook the beans with the ham bone in the pressure cooker.
- Separately cook the rice, better integral, but it can be done with conventional rice. About 20 minutes, adding a cup for 4 diners.
- Heat the oil with a garlic with the skin, cut in half, the skin gives a lot of flavor, fry the garlic without burning it and with the oil not very hot add a level teaspoon of sweet paprika.
- Add to the beans and cook for about 5 minutes. At lunchtime, add the rice and serve.
- We can cook everything ahead of time and mix at the last minute, this can be used to cook the day before if we work or first thing in the morning.
- A CUP OF DRY WHITE BEANS.
- THREE POTATOES, BETTER GALICIAN.
- HALF WHITE CABBAGE OR 1/2 KILO OF GREEN BEANS OR A BUNCH OF SWEET WHITE OR TENDER KABBAGE.
- A HAM BONE AND A BEEF BONE (OPTIONAL).
- LACÓN OR A PIECE OF PORK RIBS. IT CAN ALSO BE BACON.
- EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL.
- 100 GRAMS OF SPREAD OR IN ITS ABSENCE A SLICE OF HAM BACON.
THE UNTO CAN BE OBTAINED IN STORES OF GALICIAN PRODUCTS.
If we can't find it, we can use a bit of serrano ham bacon.
- The white beans are soaked the day before.
- Boil the ham bone for a few minutes to remove a bit of the rancid flavor and clean it better.
- Cook the white beans with the bones and the ham or ribs or bacon. (As we like).
- In the conventional casserole we must first cook the beans and after approximately two hours add the potatoes.
- While we chop the cabbage and wash it.
- Add it to the casserole and continue cooking.
- In the pressure cooker we can put everything together, the beans, the meat, also the potatoes cut into small cubes and the cabbage. Half an hour.
- When everything is cooked, one way or the other, we make the sauce sofrito.
- The spread can be added directly, but I prefer to fry it in a little oil over low heat and if I don't have spread I do that with a slice of bacon. Add to the broth and let it boil for a few more minutes.
- We must crush some potato, to thicken the broth more.
- Serve hot. It can be kept for a couple of days in the fridge.
The traditional way is to cook it over low heat, in wood stoves, but that is not always easy. So let's not complicate ourselves and turn to the pressure cooker.
We do not always like cabbage and it is not digestive for everyone, so we must know that the Galician broth has variants and they are precisely in the vegetables. CABBAGE, GREEN BEANS, KABBAGE, GRELOS…