The flat pods can be harvested young to eat whole, or shelled out like peas. Alternatively, leave to dry.
Attractive colourful seeds.
Mat Coward writes: 'One of my most reliable, heavy-yielding and useful garden crops is a type of climbing bean which I originally got a few years ago from the Heritage Seed Library. I'm not sure whether it gets its name from its fat, round seeds or as a corruption of "pie" as in piebald - the two-tone beans are very attractive.
You can eat the young pods whole, as French beans, but that would be a bit of a waste. I let them grow on to near maturity, when the beans are fully formed and coloured and the pods are starting to turn yellow and floppy.At this state, I shell the beans and freeze them for use in cooked dishes through the winter. They freeze perfectly, retaining their floury, meaty texture.
If you don't have a freezer, simply leave the pods on the plants until they are crisp and store the pea beans as dried beans for boiling.'