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Edamame soybeans can be a wonderful plant to grow here in B.C., as long as your garden has about four frost-free months.
These beans grow into big handsome plants, about 60 to 75 cm (24 to 30 in.) tall and almost that wide. They should be planted when the soil is warm, as they sprout vigorously. (We lost our first planting to rabbits, which loved these leaves more than those of any other plant in the garden!) The flowers are inconspicuous and the little pods hide in the dark-green leaves.
The pods are about 6 to 8 cm (2.5 to 3 in.) long and a bit fuzzy. They can be harvested as soon as the little seed inside is plump enough to eat (towards the end of summer). The immature seeds make for fun eating. Steam them whole for three to five minutes, salt them while the pods are warm and then gently squeeze the pods until the pale-green seeds pop into your mouth! Edamame soybeans can be frozen as well.
Blanch them for three minutes before freezing on a cookie sheet. Carefully transfer the beans to a plastic bag and return to the freezer to enjoy as a treat all winter long.