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

flowerbug

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Zeedman

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that is a strange idea of "wide" to me... :)
If you have grown yardlong beans, they are generally at their prime when pencil width or less. The pods of Sierra Madre are exceptionally slow to develop seed, so they can grow larger & still be fiber-free. The pod in the photo is the same width as the Emerite snap beans I am currently harvesting. I have recommended this as a replacement for snap beans for those in hot climates, and those I've sent seed have reported good results.

This year, I am growing two other yardlong/edible pod cowpeas. Taiwan Black is a pole yardlong with narrow, pale green pods & black seeds. It is much narrower than Sierra Madre at harvest stage, and has a delicate texture. It also has the second shortest DTM & second highest yield of my pole yardlongs.

Bush Sitao BS-3 is a variety bred in the Philippines for edible pods ("sitao" is Filipino for "long bean"). It has a sprawling bush habit, and light green, very straight 8-9" pods with firm texture. I will be testing them as dilly beans this year.
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Bush Sitao BS-3 (in 2012)

Both of those are located in my rural garden, and were subjected to heavy weed pressure until recently (the Bush Sitao was only weeded two days ago). The yardlongs/cowpeas in that garden tolerated the weeds better than anything else there; and while behind schedule, are healthy & blooming now.
 

flowerbug

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If you have grown yardlong beans, they are generally at their prime when pencil width or less. The pods of Sierra Madre are exceptionally slow to develop seed, so they can grow larger & still be fiber-free. The pod in the photo is the same width as the Emerite snap beans I am currently harvesting. I have recommended this as a replacement for snap beans for those in hot climates, and those I've sent seed have reported good results.

This year, I am growing two other yardlong/edible pod cowpeas. Taiwan Black is a pole yardlong with narrow, pale green pods & black seeds. It is much narrower than Sierra Madre at harvest stage, and has a delicate texture. It also has the second shortest DTM & second highest yield of my pole yardlongs.

Bush Sitao BS-3 is a variety bred in the Philippines for edible pods ("sitao" is Filipino for "long bean"). It has a sprawling bush habit, and light green, very straight 8-9" pods with firm texture. I will be testing them as dilly beans this year.
View attachment 36452
Bush Sitao BS-3 (in 2012)

Both of those are located in my rural garden, and were subjected to heavy weed pressure until recently (the Bush Sitao was only weeded two days ago). The yardlongs/cowpeas in that garden tolerated the weeds better than anything else there; and while behind schedule, are healthy & blooming now.
they look like they'll be some good eating. i hope they work out as dilly beans. to me the more important trait is how they work when eaten raw or freshly steamed. BS-3 is how long from planting to dry seed? i've not had very good luck here with cowpeas getting decent quality seeds, but i'm willing to try some again if they can finish up in time.
 

Zeedman

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they look like they'll be some good eating. i hope they work out as dilly beans. to me the more important trait is how they work when eaten raw or freshly steamed. BS-3 is how long from planting to dry seed? i've not had very good luck here with cowpeas getting decent quality seeds, but i'm willing to try some again if they can finish up in time.
When I last grew Bush Sitao BS-3, it was 60 days to pods; probably about 80-90 days to dry seed. The dry seed is unusual, half cream / half brown, and the dry seed yield is respectable enough for it to be a "cross over" for either pods or dry seed.

I do have one, though, that is a even faster: Yancheng Bush. It bears pods in 50 days, and dry seed in 70-75 days. The pods are firm, somewhat sweet, and stay crunchy if stir fried. I don't often eat edible pod cowpeas raw (Red Noodle is the exception) but Yancheng would be better that way than Bush Sitao. It has grown successfully where pole yardlongs fail, such as parts of Canada and the Pacific Northwest. The seed is originally from the Chinese father of someone in Texas... where they can sometimes get 3 generations seed-to-seed. It is red seeded. If you would like to try it, just send me a PM.
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Top to bottom: Yancheng Bush, Asparagus Bean, Chinese Red Noodle, Taiwan Black
 

Zeedman

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The MN 150 cowpeas have begun drying, I harvested the first hand full of dry pods today. They were planted May 31st, so 67 days to dry seed... which you would expect from a cowpea developed in & for Minnesota. The pods rapidly change from green to deep purplish-black as they dry.
20200806_103556.jpg

MN 150

The red flags are to mark rodent traps, but so far MN 150 has been undisturbed (the mice are too busy harvesting soybeans). The purple flowers to the left are Zebrina mallow, which both attracts bees & functions as a trap crop for Japanese beetles - it is outstanding for both purposes.

I find it fascinating that cowpeas are considered to be a Southern crop; they are consistently the first dry seed I harvest, year after year.
 

flowerbug

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...
I find it fascinating that cowpeas are considered to be a Southern crop; they are consistently the first dry seed I harvest, year after year.
i've not had good results with some cowpeas here, but i've not grown every variety to see if i could get them to finish in time. for those i have grown it is too wet for them here in the late summer and early fall so the seeds were poor quality or rotting in the pods.

i decided that while the plants did well the results weren't worth it and gave up. since then i've got so much going on with beans and now peas that i don't want to hop into yet another project/crop but if i change my mind i'll get back to you for sure. :)

soon i will start to get some dry seeds from the earliest bush beans - better get my peas taken care of this week and finish up another project i started but then was interrupted so i forgot to finish it (out of sight, out of mind)...
 

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I got some bean returns early last week I think it was probably around the 27th of July. Many network growers grew out half the collection of outcrossed beans I got from Will Bonsall of Industry, Maine in 2015 (The Scattered Seed Project, Also appears in the movie Seeds) I had numbered all the packets WB-PKT #1 To WB-PKT #52. Ridgerunner grew the largest number of the beans I offered for growout in 2016 and the grower also named the beans they grew.

Ridgerunner sent three named beans to me he now feels are stable after 4 seasons of growouts. All three of these beans are from WB-PKT #39. The seed mother was a pole bean Norridgewock which has seed that is half red and half white, rounded in shape. Photos of all three of these beans are on the Network pages of my website and the seeds have not changed from the ones Ridgerunner sent to me after his 2016 grow out season. Photos below are of the seed he recently sent to me in late July.

Jas: Half Runner, about 7 feet tall and fairly prolific. The blossoms are lavender. The striped pods are about 4 to 6 inches long and typically contain 4 beans. 60 beans weigh 46 grams. Pods are typically green with purple stripes but occasionally get reverse pods, purple with green stripes. This bean also throws reverse colored beans.

Valley View: Bush, Some flowers are pink, some yellow. The striped pods are about 6 inches long and average about 5 beans. 60 beans weigh 44 grams. Pods are green wih real faint stripes until mature, then turn pink and white.

Banzala: Bush, blossoms lavender. Green pods are 6 inches long and contain 4 beans. 60 beans weigh 42 grams. This beans is based on purple but turn black as the seed ages.

Jas
jas-2020.jpg

Valley View
valley-view-2020.jpg

Banzala

banzala-2020.jpg
 
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