fresh and ready to cook
I really liked the Florida speckled lima beans when they were still in their 'green' stage but filled out. After they had begun to show their colors was a little too far, they had more of a 'nutty' flavor when cooked - which apparently is what a lot of people like them for. I preferred the green stage because it still had sweetness to it. Next time I shell one and the purple is already there I will dry it for seed instead of adding it to the cooking pot!
The lima beans like hot weather :) Actually, they seem to wait for the hot weather to really produce.