The Chickpea is one of the oldest cultivated legumes still in cultivation today. Its history dates back thousands of years in the Middle East, where it remains a staple crop. But Chickpeas have garnered a global fan base over the last few decades, and today, hummus made from Mediterranean Chickpeas is an incredibly healthy and popular snack around the globe, and Chickpeas are a must in modern Bean salads. You've likely only seen them dried or canned in the supermarket, but it's easy and rewarding to grow your own. Chickpeas love full sun and well-drained soil, and require a long season. Sow seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting them out into the garden on or after the last frost date. Or direct-sow 1 to 2 weeks prior to your last frost date. Plants grow up to 18" tall and bear white to pale purple flowers that yield 1-inch-long pods containing one or two Chickpeas each. Chickpeas can be harvested and eaten fresh, but they are usually dried for storage. When the entire plant has turned brown in late summer, pull it from the soil and lay it out to dry entirely, then remove the Chickpeas and store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark spot.
Average seed life: 3 years.