Belonging to the legume family lentils originate to the Mediterranean region and the Near East. They have been valued as high protein crop plants since thousands of years. Lentils are nowadays complementing the crop rotation in the organic farming.
The best cultivation base are stony soils low in nutrients and rich in lime. Lentils build a symbiosis with bacteria fixating nitrogen, that´s why they can be cultivated regardless of the nitrate content of the soils. Therefore they are used as green manure.
Depending the sort lentils reach a height of 10 to 50 cm. As soon as their pods turn in brown color the lentils are ready for harvesting.
Lentils are high in protein which is best absorbed by the human body in combination with cereals. Furthermore they are valued for their high content of zinc and fiber.
Due to the high protein content people use lentils in the production of pasta products or as supplement in traditional recipes with flour. In the vegan and vegetarian cuisine lentils are valued as meat substitute.