2020 Little Easy Bean Network - An Exciting Adventure In Heirloom Beans !

Bluejay77

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In Illinois you should have good top soil, not like the gumbo muck we have down here. It's rich, plenty of nutrients but the tilth and texture is horrible. Hopefully that solves your drainage problem.
We do have good soil here in Illlinois. This particular area has a lot of ponds in the area. When it rains heavily you can see places in the farm fields that stay wet and sometimes flooded for a long time. I think the subsoil doesn't allow the topsoil to drain well. This particular spot when the soil is dry I can push it around and dig into it with my fingers. Almost like playing in a sandbox. I'm thinking the extra depth that I'll have in this raised bed should do the trick.
 

Bluejay77

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Saturday plenty of domestic soil was removed from a larger area about 150 feet west of my fenced bean garden area and placed in the three sided box. A bit of rain sunday so we will wait until tomorrow to spread out the soil and attach the last and fourth side. Then we will let it settle to see if we need to add anymore soil. My landlord who owns the property calls my fenced in area Bean Acres.

Bean Acres Raised Bed Box - Day #2 #1.jpg


Bean Acres Raised Bed Box - Day #2 #2.jpg
 

Bluejay77

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The raised bed bean garden box is taking shape a little more. We might just have about all the soil we are going to have to put into it. We got some pretty good rain Thursday night so that will settle the soil a little bit. I need to see the grass and roots that are mixed into the soil break down so I can till it and get a nice even seed bed. I hope it's going to be as fun as I have imagined it.

Bean Acres Raised Bed Box - Day #3 #3.jpg


Bean Acres Raised Bed Box - Day #3 #2.jpg


Bean Acres Raised Bed Box - Day #3 #1.jpg
 

Ridgerunner

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I know it's early but I got an early start. So a few photos. These first three are photos of the pods just before they turn brown and dry up.

This first one is Cock 'N Bull. It's not a great photo but it is a real smooth creamy yellow. I consider it attractive, mainly because it is so smooth.
Cock 'N Bull Ripe Pod.jpg


Next up is Jas. Bright colors. I have had reverse pods on Jas before but not this year.
Jas Ripe Pod.jpg


Then my favorite, Valley View. Such a vibrant pink.
Valley View Ripe Pod.jpg


I got my first beans of the season. The pods were dry but these beans have a lot of curing to do. They will change colors ans sizes as they dry. Clockwise form bottom left is Jas, colors look similar to the pod. It's the only pole bean on here, the rest are bush. Kind of surprised to have a pole bean this early.

The white porcelain one is Aksai. The purple one at the top is Banzala, it will dry to a black bean. The pretty in pink is Valley View, again similar to the pod. The red one below that is Cock 'n Bull.
First Beans.jpg


All five of these are from the Will Bonsall outcrosses I got from Russ a few years back. All five of these appear to be stabilizing, kind of unusual for most of the Will Bonsall beans I grow. It is still very early days, I have a lot more of these to harvest this year, these are from the first few pods that dried out. And I have 11 other varieties that have not produced any dried pods.
 

Bluejay77

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I think that everyone here probably knows that I'm trying to collect all the Robert Lobitz's original named beans. He was a member of Seed Savers Exchange from 1982 to the time of his death in January 2006. He lived his life on his father's truck garden farm in Paynesville in Stearns county Minnesota. He started his Seed Savers Exchange years with a potato collection he had and did some work with peas. He released through the SSE yearbook his first named bean in 1988 which was actually a selection from a commercial variety. His releases of his original named beans began in earnest in 1998. He wrote his last listings for the yearbook in the autumn of 2005 before the November deadline of getting your listings in for the upcoming yearbook. I had collected about 70 of Robert Lobitz's original beans from 2012 to 2019. I had obtained through another SSE member a list of Robert's named beans. There were about 33 varieties yet to collect (not sure if this number is perfectly accurate but it's close) and I really didn't know if these beans really even existed. In February this year I had gotten on SSE's facbook page called "The Exchange". I posted that I was looking for the rest of Robert's beans and listed all the names from my list that I still had not obtained. In April to my amazement the director of preservation at SSE's Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa wrote to me telling me that most of my list was in the bean collection of SSE and that he would send most of my list to me sometime in May. Friday the 22nd the package arrived. There were 26 packets with small amounts of seed in each. Three of the varieties I already had so my collection of Lobitz beans increased immediately by another 23. From the list I had posted on SSE's facebook page "The Exchange" there are another 6 bean varieties I'll be on the lookout for. So here and now I will do a little bean show of 23 original varieties that Robert named. I am assuming that most of them are bush types although Robert did have some semi runners. He never seemed inclined to work with pole beans. I might take one seed of these that I suspect might be semi runners and grow them in a flower pot just to see if there growth habit is more than just a bush. I don't recall seeing any of these beans in copies of the SSE yearbooks that I have. So the display here will be just names and photos.

Abundant Little Gem Pinto
abundant little gem pinto.jpg


Bonanza Valley Navy
bonanaza valley navy.jpg


Cokato
cokato.jpg


Eagle Island White
eagle island white.jpg


Early Dawn Pinto
early dawn pinto.jpg


Eden Lake Pearls
eden lake pearls.jpg



 

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