If you've never grown chickpeas (or "garbanzo beans", or "chana"), or never had any luck with them before, here is a beautiful chickpea to try. Black chickpeas can be used in the same ways as the more common tan chickpeas, but they are more forgiving for the grower, especially in cooler areas. But they do love hot summers too. The plant produce lovely lacy vetch-like growth with tiny flowers and profuse pods containing an average of two seeds each. These are most commonly dried and stored for later use, but under-ripe green chickpeas, picked and prepared fresh, are also delicious. Unfortunately they are rarely available commercially this way (and are often of poor quality, not fresh enough, when they are), so the best way to try them this way is to grow them yourself! The plant's leaves exude a gum that can cause skin irritation in some people (we learned this from legendary plant breeder Carol Deppe), so we recommend using gloves when harvesting them fresh. Seeds were grown by Clint Freund and Kass McKinnon of Cultivating the Commons in Madison, Wisconsin, which will receive half of the proceeds of all sales.