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

Beanmad Nanna

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Headrick Greasy Cutshort - Pole Greasy. Pods lack the fine fuzz or hairs that most beans have on their pods. The pods look a bit wet or also shinny. Greasy beans are from a whole different culinary culture. Pods are picked when they are swollen with seed but still green. Then destring them. Then boil them in water with bacon fat. I think believe they cook them in that mixture until the water in nearly gone. This bean was grown in my back yard plot where I could water as frequently as I wanted. Beans are smaller than a Navy bean. They produced 17.20 ounces (487 grams)

Holy - Pole Dry - This was another of the beans that struggled this season. Ordinarily a pretty productive bean. I got about 2 tenths of an ounce from them (5.66 grams)


View attachment 62078View attachment 62079
Headrick Greasy Cutshort - Pole Greasy..............Holy - Pole Dry

View attachment 62098

Headrick Greasy Cutshort Dry Pods.
I've seen german regional varieties listed as "Speck" beans, and assume these are a similar type . ( Speck being dry cured 'bacon' ). I think I've got one coming my way soon.
The greasy types, I am wondering if the german Kipfler beans might also turn out to be shiny. ( Curved and lumpy ) These I am interested in in terms of flavour.

(And someone on here mentioned leather britches, that's some old timey preservation technique I gotta get a look at!)
 

Triffid

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I have never managed to cut such a perfectly round hole without the appropriate tool, and this worm did it with his teeth or something like that. Does anyone else say that man is the most perfect creature on earth?
Are such thoughts a symptom of winter depression?:)

For people in our state of mind, SAD (seasonal affective disorder) should be renamed BAD (bean abscence disorder). I shall present my findings to the appropriate psychiatric bodies.
 

Beanmad Nanna

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For people in our state of mind, SAD (seasonal affective disorder) should be renamed BAD (bean abscence disorder). I shall present my findings to the appropriate psychiatric bodies.
Am chuckling loudly.
(Oh my god - here I go with no boundaries & over-sharing). I have to admit I am never knowingly without Beans. So precious are they, that I have some in a 'medicine pouch', with Hazel seeds from a scared spring (celtic mythology), hard red corn & heritage white corn ... a lot more besides including some of Ai Wei Wei's ceramic sunflowers. So , I carry them into Ceremony.
In possible more approachable way, I think many of us share a specialist fascination with them. Just in practical gardening terms, there are not many weeks(probably not many days) when I don't think about them, write them in a list or plan, or shift a box of seeds from A-B ( coz they are always taking up too much space) ; or prepare labels; take some to a gardening friend... or look at catalogues. That's a normal year. This year I have Bean Accumulation Desiderata.
Apparently a cure is available. I'm sitting with denial a while longer (and making more Desiderata lists).
 

flowerbug

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... My logic might not be coming thru clearly toniht. .

reads ok to me. :) i think the more recent term being used is landrace so you would be developing a landrace. grex i've heard but in my head it comes through as "growing experiment". which is about 99% of what i do it seems...
 

Pulsegleaner

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i wonder if they get tired and have to rest...
I doubt it. Their tiny adult weevil brains are probably set on "Get out, get flying, get mate, get it on!"

The real surprise was also in what it looked like inside when I cracked the seed open. Normally, a weevil larva only eats a certain amount of the seed before they are full, pupate, and then leave. The seed has chunks missing, but it still mostly there.

When I cracked open that seed, there was NOTHING left inside except weevil frass (poop). And bear in mind a M. Benetti seed is about as wide as a silver dollar (an old type one) and very thick (if you have ever seen the "hamburger seeds"/"sea beans" people sell in shell shops, THOSE are what the seeds look like). And since there was only one/two holes in the shell, only one/two weevils ate all of that.
 

heirloomgal

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I am of two minds - which I'd appreciate serious conversation around - probably will start a thread on it after midwinter, if I am lucky enough to remember to post it.
First - outgrowths of notable and consistently arising variables ( spontanteous mutations/throwbacks/ double recessives , I dunno specifics of genetic whys) = stabilising novel spontaneous variety. I do like the development of increasingly stable, repeatable, predictable gene-lines, down the generations via selection.
As opposed to the second option , getting hold of as many variations, subvarieties, geographical drifts aka "lines" , family-saved sorts which are VERY closely related to have back some breadth in the seed's gene pool . EG one of the german seed-saving circles is deliberately putting back together aN HERITAGE variety of white kidney ( runner ) Phenomen(e), from 5 different seed banks. Might this now be called a grex? Or in similar way so-and-so "family" been which so clearly is comprised of several types, that Ive seen labelled as grex . Ignoring those which seem clearly distinct strains, sometimes it is a subtle colour or pattern intensity variation , say in some of the grey-purplish and more chestnut brown it'd be easy-ish to select out brown vs purple seed. So I am torn even how to form this as a question. Firstly I feel I need as BIG /wide/deep a gene pool as possible. So, I need steer my course true, and be scrupulous about propagating as many of the variations as possible, rather than going for purity of type. (Running on fumes , had some very long nights lately) My logic might not be coming thru clearly toniht. .
I've always had a hard time with the idea of a 'grex' in relationship to beans. Mostly because beans are self pollinating; of course, part of my opinions on that are related to my own experiencing growing beans and seeing so few crosses. Not to say I've never seen any, but they are certainly not a regular occurence for me. This summer I planted Beefy Resilient Grex (a semi runner) and the idea that they might cross pollinate together simply because they're planted together as a grex is not likely here. Bees of course can move things around, but even then they need to 'buzz' the flowers to get that done where nearby opened flowers would be easier for them. On collecting the seeds the population looked much like what I planted, browns and blacks in about the same ratio. Part of the grex idea is that you're "encouraging the plants to cross pollinate", then regrowing those crosses, but I'm not sure that's a really solid idea in any self pollinating species.

In regards to deep gene pools, I think a limiting factor will always be the species itself. Beans seem to have quite narrow margins of comfort, and a wide variety of tolerances across the group is not something I've seen much of; most of the variation I see in beans is in regard to a higher sensitivity to humidity and precipitation. I've been more inclined to see beans that have low thresholds as oppose to high thresholds for anything. They all seem to tolerate drought much better than 'excessive' moisture, even the kind that makes peas and tomatoes thrive. Some of the beans I've grown, that come with descriptions of higher tolerance to cold and wet weather, never seemed to live up to that. And the bean seeds themselves are even less tolerant of discomfort than the plants! I consider beans the 'princess precious' of the vegetable garden in terms of her delicate tastes.
 

Branching Out

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First - outgrowths of notable and consistently arising variables ( spontanteous mutations/throwbacks/ double recessives , I dunno specifics of genetic whys) = stabilising novel spontaneous variety. I do like the development of increasingly stable, repeatable, predictable gene-lines, down the generations via selection.
As opposed to the second option , getting hold of as many variations, subvarieties, geographical drifts aka "lines" , family-saved sorts which are VERY closely related to have back some breadth in the seed's gene pool . EG one of the german seed-saving circles is deliberately putting back together aN HERITAGE variety of white kidney ( runner ) Phenomen(e), from 5 different seed banks. Might this now be called a grex? Or in similar way so-and-so "family" been which so clearly is comprised of several types, that Ive seen labelled as grex . Ignoring those which seem clearly distinct strains, sometimes it is a subtle colour or pattern intensity variation , say in some of the grey-purplish and more chestnut brown it'd be easy-ish to select out brown vs purple seed. So I am torn even how to form this as a question. Firstly I feel I need as BIG /wide/deep a gene pool as possible. So, I need steer my course true, and be scrupulous about propagating as many of the variations as possible, rather than going for purity of type. (Running on fumes , had some very long nights lately) My logic might not be coming thru clearly toniht. .
I am still trying to get my head around landrace and grex varieties-- and like you I can see value in these pursuits.
This article from Jamie at Quail Seeds was helpful for me, https://www.quailseeds.com/blog/more-strands-make-a-stronger-thread
 

Beanmad Nanna

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I've always had a hard time with the idea of a 'grex' in relationship to beans. Mostly because beans are self pollinating; of course, part of my opinions on that are related to my own experiencing growing beans and seeing so few crosses. Not to say I've never seen any, but they are certainly not a regular occurence for me. This summer I planted Beefy Resilient Grex (a semi runner) and the idea that they might cross pollinate together simply because they're planted together as a grex is not likely here. Bees of course can move things around, but even then they need to 'buzz' the flowers to get that done where nearby opened flowers would be easier for them. On collecting the seeds the population looked much like what I planted, browns and blacks in about the same ratio. Part of the grex idea is that you're "encouraging the plants to cross pollinate", then regrowing those crosses, but I'm not sure that's a really solid idea in any self pollinating species.

In regards to deep gene pools, I think a limiting factor will always be the species itself. Beans seem to have quite narrow margins of comfort, and a wide variety of tolerances across the group is not something I've seen much of; most of the variation I see in beans is in regard to a higher sensitivity to humidity and precipitation. I've been more inclined to see beans that have low thresholds as oppose to high thresholds for anything. They all seem to tolerate drought much better than 'excessive' moisture, even the kind that makes peas and tomatoes thrive. Some of the beans I've grown, that come with descriptions of higher tolerance to cold and wet weather, never seemed to live up to that. And the bean seeds themselves are even less tolerant of discomfort than the plants! I consider beans the 'princess precious' of the vegetable garden in terms of her delicate tastes.
princess precious - I 'll take that!


Grex to me was not so much cross pollination (reasons you give) but a handful of each of what did well last year all thrown in the seedtin. I imagine family beans are whats left at the end of the season, suddenly remembering you have to grow some next year. Here we are 100+ years later flying them half way across the world and calling them treasure.

AND - I do realise largely self pollinated. However there are quite differing types. For instance, I think we in UK probably grew many more sorts than (scarlet) Runners, historically (birds egg/ horticultural etc) but runners and green french beans are what seem to predominate. We don't seem to commonly grow drying beans.

Anyway - all a bit theoretical. Today I found myself 'accidentally reading a paper on the genetics of bean colour and pattern. Whilst my inner geek was happy reading science again, I'd rather find another north european supplier to go through their list & actually acquire some thing with a different spin to its nature. ( Phenotype over genotype, I guess )
 

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