2022 Little Easy Bean Network - We Are Beans Without Borders

flowerbug

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I was thinking about what you'd written earlier...

A side benefit of the early pods for seed is that you're gently selecting for those plants that did well in the beginning of the season. That would be a trait that I'd like to encourage.

since the early trait is one i also want to encourage that is a main reason why i want some of those earliest pods for seeds. :)

and appropriate for the current Christmas season i like to think of those pods as gifts to open looking for treasures. :)
 

reedy

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I don't know how much genetic adaptation may really be happening, but I like fast maturity in all my crops, so I figure saving from the first pods might encourage that. I also like to save for disease resistance so IF I have that option, I save from pods that have no, or at least less blemishes. I say, IF because sometimes disease is bad and few if any pods are perfectly clean and sometimes disease isn't bad at all, and most are clean.

One of my favorite snap beans is KY Wonder but I'm not sure mine really are KY Wonder anymore. After decades of saving the first and cleanest pods mine have longer, flatter pods. The seeds are also larger, flatter and lighter colored. I haven't tried other beans this way, but dry KY Wonder beans cooked by themselves just in water with a little onion taste almost the same as they do as snap beans.
 

meadow

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One of my favorite snap beans is KY Wonder but I'm not sure mine really are KY Wonder anymore. After decades of saving the first and cleanest pods mine have longer, flatter pods. The seeds are also larger, flatter and lighter colored. I haven't tried other beans this way, but dry KY Wonder beans cooked by themselves just in water with a little onion taste almost the same as they do as snap beans
How interesting that a dry bean would have that flavor! Makes those plants an even more valuable food source. (I realize that many beans can be eaten green and dry, but what is the point really unless they're delicious?)
 

meadow

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Observations on Swedish Brown and Marfax:
Two Types of Swedish Brown?

I grew Marfax and Swedish Brown as Network Beans last season.

I also picked up Swedish Brown from Seed Savers Exchange (Bean 306). Their Swedish Brown looks a lot like Marfax. Here is their description:

"Donated to SSE in 1981 by bean collector John Withee of Lynnfield, Massachusetts and the Wanigan Associates. Withee received the variety in 1977 from Jim Johnson of Hartland, WI. Johnson acquired seed samples from the USDA, who indicated the variety came from Minnesota. SSE Accession # 101143 John Withee, 1981."

Fedco will be selling Marfax again this year, and their description also hints at these two beans looking alike (no picture up yet):

"Heirloom resembling Swedish Brown Bean, but earlier and higher yielding."

Network Swedish Brown looks nothing like Marfax and the growth habit was completely different. Vermont Bean's Swedish Brown looks like Network Swedish Brown (I have the VB strain but haven't grown it yet).

Since I was growing some non-Network Marfax for tasting, I grew a few of the SSE Swedish Brown too. Their flowers were identical (I literally removed a flower and took it around to each planting of Marfax, including Network Marfax). The non-Network plants were in a block planting with too-close spacing, so I cannot be certain if the growth habit was only similar or if it was identical.

Based on what I observed, I would have thought Marfax and SSE Swedish Brown (Bean 306) were the same bean. I'll be doing another grow-out at better spacing to see if the plants differ in any way and also to evaluate earliness and productivity.
 

BeanWonderin

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@BeanWonderin what was the growth habit of Mungungi? Semi-runner?
We tried growing them as a pole bean but they really didn't want to climb. They did throw runners, though. I'm not happy with how that one did this year, so I think I'll try it again next year but start it inside to get an earlier start.
 

BeanWonderin

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My 2022 beans, few though they were.

This one has become a mystery. It was sent to me as "Atlas" in 2009 (in an envelope from Vermont Bean with that name) and I have shared it that way since then. However, unless there are 2 beans with that name, "Atlas" is a wax bean - this is not. It is a bush, green-podded bean with large seeds, a short DTM, and a decent yield. Not very productive as a snap, but much better as a large-seeded shelly. Well worth growing, I just wish I knew what it really was. Harvested 9 ounces of dry seed... but it would have been at least twice that, had I not accidentally set the mulch in half the row on fire with the weed burner (smacking self on head). :smack

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This reminds me of Tongues of Fire. The pod and dry bean both resemble it.

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flowerbug

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How interesting that a dry bean would have that flavor! Makes those plants an even more valuable food source. (I realize that many beans can be eaten green and dry, but what is the point really unless they're delicious?)

i must not be too picky, as of yet i don't think i've found any beans that weren't good as a dry bean. have you?

i think the hardest aspect to me is that some beans are not super productive so getting enough of them to cook up as a single batch to isolate the flavor doesn't happen (especially if they are a good snap bean because between replanting and giving away seeds it would be harder to get a lot of seeds kept).
 

meadow

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i must not be too picky, as of yet i don't think i've found any beans that weren't good as a dry bean. have you?
Yes. Lazy Wife's Pole Bean is one that I will never eat again. :sick Usually though they just don't have much flavor, so I guess it depends on what you are looking for in a dry bean. For us, we want flavor; a delicious flavor that comes from the bean itself when cooked plainly with water and nothing else.

We made baked beans for the first time. Those were tastey! I don't want to be eating so much sugar though, so it would only be an occasional dish for us.
 

meadow

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so getting enough of them to cook up as a single batch to isolate the flavor doesn't happen
Last season I did a block planting of beans that I wanted to taste. There weren't a whole lot of beans from any one type (certainly not enough for a meal), but it was enough to cook up and try them out. After a very small taste-test, I had all of 1.5 cups of Marfax from one vendor that was just enough for the baked bean recipe. 😅
 

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