Glycine max 65 – 70 days
This heirloom soybean from New Mexico was originally introduced to the U.S. from Sapporo, Japan in 1929. Agate soybean has a very short season and is a great choice if you want to safeguard against late and early frosts. This past summer, I planted this variety on June 14th and started harvesting my soybeans on September 9th. Agate is a small plant, 1 1/2 ft. tall but very productive. The smaller plants make harvesting and threshing very easy. The small beans can be eaten as edamame , or as a dry bean. Agate is very nutritious (especially high in protein), as most soybeans are and has a great flavor. Well worth using to make tofu or other soy foods. Plant the beans in the spring after all danger of frost has passed, 1″ deep and 2″-6″ apart. Harvest when leaves yellow and fall off. The pods should be yellowish-brown and dry. I cut my plants and bring them into my drying shed for a few weeks to dry further on benches before threshing. Threshing is easy using the “pillowcase dance” method. Simply place 4-5 plants into a pillow case and do a little dance on top. The beans will easily come free from the pods. Winnow in front of a fan to remove pods and debris. Since soybeans have a high oil content, I recommend drying indoors for a few more weeks before storing. I consider Agate soybeans to be a valuable staple crop since they are early maturing and well-adapted to harsh, hot, and arid conditions.
Seed Saving: Isolate from other soybean varieties by 25′ for home use, 100′ for pure seed.