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

flowerbug

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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.

if you have the room to get the plants under cover at night that for sure helps a great deal.

when i'm picking i try to get out and remove the dry pods as soon as the dew is mostly off them because i can usually pick a few flats and then still have an hour or two later in the day those can sit out in the sun and breeze and dry off completely, this is also nice to let any bugs that might be on them to get away before i do anything else with them. then i like to leave them overnight in the garage to also let the bugs flee. once they are completely dry and buglessish they can go into bigger bags for storage if there's enough of them to make that worth it. any accidentally picked greener pods i put in flats to finish drying - a week or two is usually enough to finish them off. when shelling those i try to note at which stage for each variety will give me the best results. sometimes that doesn't happen.

the amount of dewfalls we get here is rather thick many nights of the season. i can only recall a few mornings this year where we didn't have any dewfall at all. this time of the year we get fogs too. the neighborhood has some ponds and those give off heat/steam at night. lowland bean growing is not really an easy thing to do, but it is possible... :)

as of this moment i have zero green pods drying inside. the remaining small patch i need to pick through outside would be good for me to go through right now but i'm completely tired out and not able (hot and humid and it was mowing day - i'm kaput for now). if the rains don't happen tonight that much and i can get out tomorrow i'll give it a shot, but it may be a few days before i can get out there - all weather dependent at this moment.
 

heirloomgal

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So I had a number of podsworth of not quite mature or misshapen Graines de Cafe, definitely not keepers. So today I boiled them and made a quick “baked” beans recipe on the stove and they were delicious! I’m quite pleased with this bean and I’ll grow it again for sure.
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Looks so yummy! I need to make some too!
 

heirloomgal

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if you have the room to get the plants under cover at night that for sure helps a great deal.

when i'm picking i try to get out and remove the dry pods as soon as the dew is mostly off them because i can usually pick a few flats and then still have an hour or two later in the day those can sit out in the sun and breeze and dry off completely, this is also nice to let any bugs that might be on them to get away before i do anything else with them. then i like to leave them overnight in the garage to also let the bugs flee. once they are completely dry and buglessish they can go into bigger bags for storage if there's enough of them to make that worth it. any accidentally picked greener pods i put in flats to finish drying - a week or two is usually enough to finish them off. when shelling those i try to note at which stage for each variety will give me the best results. sometimes that doesn't happen.

the amount of dewfalls we get here is rather thick many nights of the season. i can only recall a few mornings this year where we didn't have any dewfall at all. this time of the year we get fogs too. the neighborhood has some ponds and those give off heat/steam at night. lowland bean growing is not really an easy thing to do, but it is possible... :)

as of this moment i have zero green pods drying inside. the remaining small patch i need to pick through outside would be good for me to go through right now but i'm completely tired out and not able (hot and humid and it was mowing day - i'm kaput for now). if the rains don't happen tonight that much and i can get out tomorrow i'll give it a shot, but it may be a few days before i can get out there - all weather dependent at this moment.
It seems like the heavy dew situation began when we started getting big differentials between daytime and night time temperatures, and the greater the difference the more wet everything is in the morning. I don't usually see much bugs on the beans here, at least none that are big enough to see.

Looks like our forecast for 'no rain' has taken a sudden sharp turn, but I'll believe it when I see it because the weather is more unpredictable at this time of year. I did pull all the remaining poles out of the gardens (minus 2) anyway and put them under cover just in case. I thought, yeah this won't take much time...an hour later I'm still walking back and forth with poles, lol.

I completely understand about getting 'shelling foot'! I get a version of it, 'shelling shoulder'. Years ago I tore some muscles in my right shoulder and I'm right handed, so I gotta watch my tension/concentration when I'm shelling and what position my whole body is in or that shoulder will burn. I even choose shelling containers relative to the position my shoulder will be in using it. Anything with tall sides is a no go, and cut cardboard edges can be hard on the wrists when you rest them on the edges for shelling ease. I've gotten cardboard shelling burns from shelling for a few hours into the flats. 🤣
 

heirloomgal

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The beans are all officially out of the ground and under cover now, minus 2 of my European long season poles. While I was moving the Grandma Gina's pole beans (I planted two poles with beans, 8 plants) I noticed a pod actually shattered as I moved it. I thought the pods were still rubbery. I picked the seeds from the ground, the ones I could find anyway, and was shocked at how well formed they were. That is one TRICKY bean to grow and it's hard to get good seed as the plant is SO sensitive to moisture. I think a few of us here have grown it. My conclusion is that the vines can't be allowed to dry without being cut while still slightly immature - I cut them at ground level a while back, concerned about having the same problem as last time. I also planted them under the eaves against the house so I could better control the water the plant received. I lost half my beans last time because they sprouted in the pods from rain and what did not sprout, while they did eventually successfully dry down, had seedcoats that were a bit like sandpaper, kind of rough.

Here is this year’s Grandma Gina's beans. At least the first ones.
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Most of the bean pole saplings got mulched this weekend. I used the wood chips to surround the pea bed, didn’t take long to use it all up since I piled the mulch high like a berm. Poles were dry as a bone.
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Thought this was interesting. The expired fingerprint fava plants started flowering at the base for some reason. One thing about this fava variety, it’s very heat tolerant.
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Some of the worst looking bean pods I’ve ever shelled, just awful! Rough, leathery, thick. The seal isn’t super great either. Such unusual genetics in this bean Youdou #1. Not a huge producer, but fair. Transplants might do better.
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Compared to a ‘regular’ pod.
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Fall is here. 🍂
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flowerbug

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...I've gotten cardboard shelling burns from shelling for a few hours into the flats. 🤣

yes the flats i use are shallow enough to not cause abrasion at the angle i'm normally working. the worst of my injuries came from a motorcycle wipeout. i'm not touching one of those things again... give me beans instead. i may be enough of a klutz that gardening can still be dangerous i'm managing ok ish.
 

Branching Out

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The Khabarovsk that grew in full sun has been harvested and the dry pods are ready to shell whenever there is time to fawn over them sufficiently. I just LOVE the look of these large purple-flecked beans. There is also one more small patch to harvest, with just three plants that grew in a much cooler spot. These bean plants had their feet in the shade and their heads in the sun, all summer long. I counted 30 pods, with some hanging 10-12' up in the air. This variety has incredibly sturdy pods, so I think that I will leave those ones for just a few more days. They don't seem bothered by a bit of rain or dew.
 

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heirloomgal

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Not sure if I have ever gotten shelling thumb from beans (there usually aren't enough to shell at once time to do that, since I pick as they ripen.) Maybe once or twice (the wild soybeans may have done it when I picked all of the remainder at once.)

But I DEFINITELY get it each year when I do the CORN I buy. And it's WORSE with corn, often. Bean and legume pods are at least generally fairly smooth, so the pain is mostly muscular. But corn kerels can have razor sharp tips at their ends (depending on the variety) which tear at your skin while you pull them off. You don't just get a sort thumb, you get sores ON your thumb, and index finger too. Dry bean seed coats can also be sort of sharp, so the same thing can happen when I have to "window" a bunch of soybean or vetch seed (break a little big of seed coat off each one to see what color cotyledons it has, so I can segregate for the one I want.

Add on my wrists will start going out almost instantly the moment I try to do ANYTHING, and it can be painful.
That's a subject for sure, sharp seed pods. Thank goodness P. vulgaris is generally quite kind in that department. Soybean pods can be sharp, though I find that when they get XL dry they tend to shatter so there's that. Okra pods, those can really slice you up when very dry. I discovered today while shelling some lunaria pods that they have evil little masses of tiny sharp slivers waiting for you quietly & invisibly on the stems. Quite painful and long lasting those. For corn this might be a tool that can help you -
 

Zeedman

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That's a subject for sure, sharp seed pods. Thank goodness P. vulgaris is generally quite kind in that department. Soybean pods can be sharp, though I find that when they get XL dry they tend to shatter so there's that. Okra pods, those can really slice you up when very dry.
Normally I cut whole soybean plants for harvest, keeping them in tubs or baskets until the stems & pods are all dry. Since most soybean pods shatter rather easily when completely dry, thrashing them in the tub will release most of them. Best done on a tarp, since some of the soybeans will be expelled violently. But if the plants have not yet fully dried & rain is expected, I sometimes pick all of the dry pods by hand. I did that today with my last remaining edamame soybean (which really pushes the limits of my growing season) and got poked hard enough to bleed a couple times.

Soybeans are nothing compared to lima bean pods though; those pods have a beak, and know how to use it. They also like to explode in your hand, if fully dry... when you see an open gap in the backbone, the pod is "set" to pop.

Lima pods will explode as they dry indoors too. I have a lot of them drying under a ceiling fan now, so when I hear a bump in the night (or 10, or 20, or 30, or...) that's just the limas crying wolf. I'm getting so accustomed to that sound that squirrels could be having a rave in my living room without waking me. :lol:
 

flowerbug

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i think those sharp points at the end are good for making sure any raindrops fall off quickly.

that said i went out today to check on the last of the lima bean pods and they look pretty beat up. then i checked the last of the Purple Dove pods and anything that was above ground and not full of dirt or sitting in the dirt i picked, but that was only a few dozen pods. believe me when i say i have enough of those (5 or so brown paper grocery bags worth) so i decided to just let the rest go and if i see anything decent when i'm out there burying them i'll grab them, but otherwise, not going to worry about it.

that pretty much means the bean growing and harvesting season is over for me and that is ok. :) i think it went pretty well overall. now i have the shelling to finish up and that will take a few more weeks at the soonest, depends upon the weather and how much i feel like sitting.
 

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