2023 Little Easy Bean Network - Beans Beyond The Colors Of A Rainbow

heirloomgal

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got most of the Venda pods shelled today. last time it seemed to go very slow and so i gave myself two days to get it done. this time i guess having fingernails and strong fingers i could get right through them for the most part and got them done in a hour and a half. not that many seeds, but enough to replant and give a few away. that's all i really need anyways as i'm pretty sure i have some left from last year and even several years ago. :)
Do you ever get 'shelling thumb'?
 

flowerbug

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Do you ever get 'shelling thumb'?

i have in the past gotten various sore pains in hands, back or neck but i take more breaks now than i did in the past and i also make things easier for myself by trying to grow more beans that are easier to shell. Purple Dove is now a bigger chunk of my production and those have replaced some of the harder to shell varieties in some amounts. the worst i felt was several years ago in my hands because i'd managed to smash my thumb with a rock - that made for a difficult shelling season.

if pain does really become an issue in the future i'll have to find other methods for doing the task but at present i'm quite happy with low scale fully manual and one at a time shelling. the time i did get into more mass production shelling was the soybeans when i was growing those for making soymilk, but i ended up with so many beans that i never used so i didn't have to use the pillow case and cardboard method longer than a year or two.
 

heirloomgal

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Just so thrilled that our weather has been fabulous this week. It's an indian summer. The nights sure have been cool, to 6C/42F, but it warms right back up into the low 20's C/high 60's low 70's. It will actually get HOT again this weekend and early next week. 🥰 What a blessing. I'm actually kicking myself that I pulled the Khabarovsk pole out of the ground to hide in the carport when we had a short frost risk awhile ago and I ran out of tarps. I planted it late.

Took some more bean pictures today.

Gray Mountain network pole bean. I thought this one might be like Giant Nilgiri, but it actually isn’t - these are darker, more greyish black and what I really like is the shellacked finish. It’s a later bean for me but definitely worth the wait. 🖤 First two pods today!
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Trebulino di Domenico network pole bean. Such an interesting pattern on these ones. White tends to get overshadowed by color on beans when planted in my soil, so I'm glad these held some of the white.
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Mongeta Castellfolit de Boix semi-runner bean. What a wonderful little bean, quite early and very, very prolific. The biggest white bean of all the varieties planted this year, aside from Dead Man's Tooth.
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Tuvagliedda network pole bean. Found my first bunch of dried pods today, they were dried awhile ago but the pole took a tumble a few weeks ago and they were dangling underneath. Lesson learned - no more re-using saplings year to year!
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Hagnauer Rote bush bean. This is the latest bush bean I've ever grown, and most of them are still in the process of drying upside down, but it is a gorgeous one! I believe this is a historical European bean, typically used dry. It is quite productive as well. Love the pink. It's actually a terrible pic, but the sun was setting and I lost my light.:(
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Garden of Eden pole bean. This one is for use as a snap bean, the pods were Romano style - long and flat and wide. This bean was recommended to me by a Seeds of Diversity member who loves this bean. It certainly impressed with the number of pods considering it was direct seeded.
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Dlouha Pulena Ze Smolijanu network pole bean. Oooooh, how I love this bean. Great yield. If there is such a thing as an elegant bean this is it. I feel like taking them ballroom dancing.💃
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Stephano Borlotti D'Avento network pole bean. What a wonderful bean, HUGE seeds! Really excellent production too - which is not always the case with big seeded beans. Will weigh this one when they're all in.
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Broughton Astley Polish pole bean. So productive and early to dry down. Great selection went into this bean, I really like it. Wonderful for short seasons. I lost not a single pod to mold or any other problem. Thank you @Jack Holloway! This is a great find.
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Got to weighing Grand Mere, 5 plants on a pole. So many little pods! The vines were just covered with them, and they start to dry down pretty early as well. The little bean seeds have a unique color and shape, I've not seen another quite like it. Sorry, lighting is terrible it was dusk when I took this.
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Blue-Jay

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Gray Mountain network pole bean. I thought this one might be like Giant Nilgiri, but it actually isn’t - these are darker, more greyish black and what I really like is the shellacked finish. It’s a later bean for me but definitely worth the wait. 🖤 First two pods today!

This is the bean that Gray Mounatain comes from called Zebra.
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I got it from a grower in Pennsylavnia. I grew Zebra in 2020 and about half of the seed wound up looking like this dark gray rounded bean. So I planted the gray bean in 2021 and it's didn't segregate so I named it Gray Mountain. I've even sold some of them at seed swaps in Kentucky and Tennessee. Now you @heirloomgal have planted it again and it looks like that it's coming back stable again this year. I think the bean is likely stable. I think it's a beautiful bean and I love the dark eye ring that it has too.
 
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heirloomgal

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I didn't know this bean originated with you @Bluejay77! Yes, it's such a pretty bean. Some of the speckled, pebble seedcoat varieties also seem to have a gene for a slightly matte finish. This one surprised me with how shiny it was, it was the first thing I noticed when I cracked open the pod. Then I realized the color was different too, this is indeed a rather unique bean. I've not seen another with this coloring, and I've grown several of the speckled ones - Dapple Gray, Cyrus Gray, Mrociumere, Ntingi, Ugandan Bhimba, Solwezi & Giant Nilgiri as I mentioned above. None of them look quite like this.
 

Branching Out

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Can anyone please offer insights as to why a small portion of my Rosso di Lucca dry bush beans seeds shattered inside the pods? I harvested the pods incrementally as they dried down, so the beans did not remain on the plant any longer than necessary. It's not a big deal, but rather just that I am curious to learn what might cause this.
 

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flowerbug

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Can anyone please offer insights as to why a small portion of my Rosso di Lucca dry bush beans seeds shattered inside the pods? I harvested the pods incrementally as they dried down, so the beans did not remain on the plant any longer than necessary. It's not a big deal, but rather just that I am curious to learn what might cause this.

i have seen beans like that before. i would not call it shattering (to me that is a whole different result when the bean pods break open and the seeds fall out at the slightest touch).

it's just malformed or unfinished beans, so something interfered with the development of the bean. if you had a change in weather that can be enough for causing that kind of result.

i have various beans that will respond in different ways to weather changes and some will not finish a bean while others will give a seed coat that isn't complete and others will have pointed ends without a seed coat. all of those are still edible as long as they don't get moldy.
 

heirloomgal

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Took another photo of the cross I found in Hemelvaartboontje. It’s more blue than I realized. This is a cross worth pursuing I think.
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Cape Sugar looking like it’ll make it to seed. 🥰
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I only managed to get a single seed of Dikpenske to sprout, and I planted it with the poles and it turned out to be a bush bean! Amazingly, I still - by some miracle - got the plant to survive and produce good seed. And I’m glad I did because this is indeed a rather unique bean variety. The eye is different somehow, and the matte seed coat stands out.
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Sastre and Facciosa both collapsed their poles. :hit
I still think there’s a chance some seeds will make it though...
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Blue-Jay

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Sastre and Facciosa both collapsed their poles. :hit
I still think there’s a chance some seeds will make it though...
Sometimes this will happen in my gardens. An older pole will break at the soil line from the plants getting too heavy for the pole to support anymore or from a windstorm. I will drive in another pole next to the pole that broke and stand the fallen pole up again and tie the two together with a light rope. Works all the time and the fallen pole once again has it's entire length exposed to sunlight to either continue maturing or drying.

@heirloomgal are you getting close to having a killing or seed damaging frost. By the way your Cape Sugar looks all the pods swollen with seed, you could probably cut up the plants in sections and let them finish drying in your drying room.
 

heirloomgal

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Sometimes this will happen in my gardens. An older pole will break at the soil line from the plants getting too heavy for the pole to support anymore or from a windstorm. I will drive in another pole next to the pole that broke and stand the fallen pole up again and tie the two together with a light rope. Works all the time and the fallen pole once again has it's entire length exposed to sunlight to either continue maturing or drying.

@heirloomgal are you getting close to having a killing or seed damaging frost. By the way your Cape Sugar looks all the pods swollen with seed, you could probably cut up the plants in sections and let them finish drying in your drying room.
Earlier in the season, if a pole broke, I did that too. The Sastre pole broke in 2 places so that one would be trickier to fix, but it might be worth it to go out and drive another pole next to Facciosa. Especially since it looks like the plants can still stay out for awhile. Our weather has been incredible @Bluejay77 , just out of this world good. We haven't had rain in several weeks, perfect for drying. Not only that, there is still no frost risk in our 2 week projected forecast! Of course, at this time of year that can change pretty quick, but it is looking darn good. Our first frost might be closer to the end of October, even the weather today is a real feel of 84F, 29C. Next weekend it will dip for a little bit but not into any frost risk temperatures then come back up again. It's a seed savers dream!

The only thing that I find is slowing things down a bit for the beans is the heavy morning dew. The pods are stuck having to first dry off all that dew and then work on their own moisture content. If I bring plants into the drying room, they dry down way quicker. I guess the warmth and low humidity are factors in that. As soon as all the remaining traces of green goes out of the pods out there I think I'll bring the poles in the dry room. It's a tough call to know when is exactly the right moment to pull them and finish them under cover, especially when the weather is so good. I'm trying to give them as much time outside as possible also because I know what's left of the remaining plants won't all fit in the dry room either. Some will have to go in the carport, which isn't quite as ideal.
 
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