Crop: Phaseolus lunatus L. (Lima bean)

The landrace called ‘Töreki’, is cultivated in Töreki (Balaton lake region, Hungary) by a few farmers in small, separate fields for several decades. According to the interviewed farmer, this landrace was already cultivated by his grandmother, the family is growing it for at least 40-50 years.

The landrace is a vigorous climbing type, needs a long season. It is sown in mid-April; the young plants are less affected by spring frosts. It starts to flower in mid-June and keeps flowering till the first frost. The pods are growing in clusters (2-4 pods/cluster), has 1-3 seed/pod. Harvesting is done 2-3 times/year, depending on the weather with a yield of 1-1,5 kg/m. It has a strong climbing ability, thus needs high poles or trellis to sustain the plants.

Cultivation System: low-input, organic conditions.

Geographical Information

Country: Hungary

‘Töreki’ bean is traditionally cultivated in the municipality of Törek (Balaton lake Region, Hungary). The landrace is cultivated in small separated fields, for a total of a few hundred square meters.

Farmer(s) description:

The farmers cultivating ‘Töreki’ bean are individuals, they do not belong to any network or organisation. They are producing for the local farmers’ market.

Propagation system: Seed, self-pollination

Multiplication procedures and consequences on landrace diversity:

The lima bean is a predominantly self-pollinating plant, but crosses do occur where presence of insects is high. Each farmer multiplies his own seed under slightly different agronomic conditions. The average number of plants multiplied by each farmer each year ranges from hundreds to a few thousands. At harvesting, each farmer selects seeds that will be used for the following season. The farmers save the first pods which were set on the plants for the next year in order to minimise contamination by cross-pollination.

Management plan existence:

The landrace management relies completely on farming activities in the area.

Added Values

Market - existing and novel:

It has a local niche market due to its nutty taste and very limited production. It is sold on the local market and to local restaurants.

Others (e.g. commercial/geographical brands or special traits):

It was a winner of the 2018 bean contest.

The stable local market gives hope of on-farm conservation in the next future.

Centre for Plant Diversity

Case study prepared by The Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi), Hungary.