Another Mesa Crop of the 1800s
One crop that was apparently a novelty to local growers in the early days here was lima beans. Although pronounced LIME-uh today, the beans were originally from LEEM-uh (Lima), Peru.
Mesa farmer Jonathan Mayhew is said to have introduced lima beans to Santa Barbara in 1867. He had grown them in the Bay Area and brought some with him when he moved to the Mesa. He gave some to a Mesa neighbor to plant, but the neighbor liked them so much, he cooked them and ate them all.
But that was not the end of lima beans on the Mesa. In 1871, the local paper wrote, "Capt. Mayhew, who resides on the Light House mesa two miles south west of town, informs us that he intends to plant a hundred acres to Lima beans this season. He has secured his seed and has the plowing done. He finds this variety of bean more profitable than any other." – Santa Barbara Press, April 1, 1871