Black, brown, and tan chickpeas/garbanzos grow on 12-18" tall plants, with beautiful, ferny, misty leaves. Gorgeous pale purple flowers yield to plump green pods that turn crispy dry with angular multi-colored seeds inside.
Chickpeas originally adapted to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern climates with wet winters and dry summers, and so we have combined several varieties over several years in hopes of adapting a garbanzo mix that will thrive in our hot, humid summers in Eastern Pennsylvania. Our seed sources include a black garbanzo from Miguel Santisteven in Taos, New Mexico; an "Earth Tones Mix" from Telsing Andrews in Ontario, Canada; a Kichererbse variety from Austria, and one from Minnesota.
This plant was likely first cultivated in the 3rd century BC, and harvested wild since around the 9th century BC in the Fertile Crescent - which is modern-day Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, and northern Egypt. The name "pea" comes from Old English "pease", which came from Ancient Greek "pison", then Latin "pisum", and was at that point a singular word for pea. "Chickpea" comes from French "Pois Chiche", the second half of which comes from Latin "Cicer". It has nothing to do with chickens or their babies, unfortunately - it just means chickpea. Garbanzo is the Spanish word, which stems from two Basque words that mean "dry" and "pea".
Days to maturity: 80-90
Seeds per pack: 20
Germination rate: 88% on 01/27/2023
Planting / harvesting notes
Plants can be direct sown around or shortly after last frost (end of May or early June in Philadelphia) or sown in the greenhouse 4-6 weeks earlier and transplanted after last frost. We prefer the second method so we can protect our seedlings and give them a head start. We use 12” spacing in the row, in rows that are 12-18” apart. Plants grow 12-18” tall. They do not require trellising or support. If you want to harvest for fresh eating, you can harvest the pods when they are green and plump, or you can harvest when full dry. Watch for caterpillars that eat through the seed pods, consuming the seeds.
Seed keeping notes
Harvest seeds when pods have dried and turned crispy brown. Watch for caterpillars that eat through the seed pods, consuming the seeds. When the pods are fully dried, shell the seeds and allow them to dry further in a ventilated, dry, dark room.