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

heirloomgal

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@heirloomgal and @Bluejay77, really curious to see this article you guys are referencing but ran into the Globe and Mail subscriber paywall. There really aren't a lot of seed articles these days (or ever?) so I'd be interested to see what they had to say - do either of you have a way to share? I may break down and subscribe but news from Toronto may be wasted on me being in Indianapolis.
I sent you the links @Michael Lusk but then I checked them afterward and it looks like it didn't work! @Bluejay if the links in the email she sent me don't work for you, there must have been a time limit somehow set on those links? I didn't know that that was possible, but they worked the first day and not now so I can't imagine what else it is?
 
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Blue-Jay

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forwarded the article to you in email Russ, from the email she sent me with it, let me know if you have any trouble accessing it in there.
I can not open the attachement. Even when I tried to download it. All I get to see is that little red square that says Globe And Mail. I think you need to scan the article if you can or copy and paste the text that you got and email me the text. Perhaps you can contact Erin and she can email the same copy of the article she sent to you or maybe I will write to Erin and see if she can send me the article.
 

heirloomgal

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I did a tally tonight of all the bean varieties I've planted by species & growth type - all new to me. 85 pole bean varieties, 1 fava bean type, 7 soybean varieties, 12 semi-runner types and 26 bush bean varieties. I blinked at the total for bush beans because I thought I was giving those up, or at least slowing down with them? Must've fallen off the wagon somewhere.
 

Blue-Jay

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You can sign up for a free account on Globe and Mail. I did it this morning. Then those links you sent to me for the article work again once your free account is activated. They will send you a email address confirmation email.
 

Eleanor

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I did a tally tonight of all the bean varieties I've planted by species & growth type - all new to me. 85 pole bean varieties, 1 fava bean type, 7 soybean varieties, 12 semi-runner types and 26 bush bean varieties. I blinked at the total for bush beans because I thought I was giving those up, or at least slowing down with them? Must've fallen off the wagon somewhere.

Every year I have an internal debate with myself on the number of varieties per species to grow with the goal of preserving the chosen varieties. Given a commonly accepted recommendation of at least 10 plants per variety and 20 feet between varieties for common beans, how does one manage to preserve over 120 varieties per season? Do you bag blossoms/plants? Do you find much crossing in the next season's grow-outs? I've always planted taking the isolation distance & population size recommendations into account which then calls for careful mapping; it'd sure make it easier if it turns out 3-6 plants per variety next to each other is enough to maintain a variety's genetics season after season. Thoughts? TIA.
 

Zeedman

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I too plan on 20-25' between different beans, with barriers of other flowering plants between. I can grow only one lima bean, runner bean, cucumber, squash, and bitter melon per location (my two gardens are 6-7 miles apart) but I might plant multiple short rows vice one long row, to use as barriers. That creates "cells" within the garden, and I can plant one bean (and one tomato) per cell.

A poster on another forum - who grows small seed crops for heirloom seed companies - also has another philosophy. He mentioned that P. vulgaris beans have 2 centers of origin (Mesoamerican and Andean I believe) and that those beans are less likely to cross with each other. It is hard to determine which CoO a given bean is descended from... but I've used the kidney shape (usually snap) vs. rounded shape (usually dry) to divide them. I try to alternate the two types as I plant, avoiding two adjacent rows of the same type. Bush beans also seem less likely to cross with pole beans, so I might squeeze a bush bean a little closer to a pole bean (with at least one barrier crop). The results have thus far been good, with very few crosses; but there is no way to be certain that this philosophy is responsible. It would take a controlled experiment with like vs. alternated types to know for sure - and who has room/time for that? :idunno
 

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