2024 Little Easy Bean Network - Growing Heirloom Beans Of Today And Tomorrow

Blue-Jay

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@Blue-Jay ,
I think we are in for a rainy Spring.
So I would say this year our weather here is starting out dry. Back in the 1980's I noticed our weather here was in regards to rainfall swinging back and forth from feast or famine. Since our extremely dry summer of 2012 I've noticed that we get longer stretches of dryness in the summer. The last two years this dryness has now included our spring weather and our last two summers has been very dry all summer long right into fall.

In the 1960's we used to get lots of snow in the winter. March could even give us one good snow of about 10 to 15 inches. April would be very rainy. Usually in April it would rain off and on for 3 days at a time. May through August would give us 1 to 2 inch rains about every week to 10 days with a 2 week dry spell in July or some years in August. It would generally be drier in Septmeber and October. November would often be another rainy month almost like April.

I don't see this pattern happening here anymore.
 

Blue-Jay

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@Blue-Jay your friend grows very nice looking seed! If you grow these in the upcoming season, it'll be interesting to see what kind of pods the white seeds grow. I have found Italian snap beans to be excellent, they seem to have really figured out the secret sauce for succulent, tender green beans.

I was disappointed that the Ecuadorean beans sent to me by a seed requester last year did not even produce flowers. I haven't done any research into the climate of Ecuador but I think it has to do with day length sensitivity, if I recall correctly he had messaged me while he was still actually there, and called the place 'land of eternal spring'. So, they may never grow where I live. The seeds were just gorgeous though, perfectly formed.
I visited this friend in Standwood Iowa this summer for the first time. I wanted to see his gardens. I was amazed at how he grows his beans. He doesn't grow any bush beans and no limas. All pole P. Vulgaris. He has his bean plot behind chain link fencing. I think he put up the fencing himself. It looked like the fence could have been 9 feet high. So he doesn't have any trouble with animals. The thing that really amazed me was between his rows there is perpetual layer of weed barrier fabric. So he weeds by hand the small amount of exposed soil. He never roto-tills his soil and he just breaks up the soil at planting time around his poles with a hand trowel then plants beans around his poles which are left in the ground perpetually also. He removes all the dead plants in the fall at clean up. I wonder how long he will maintain enough soil fertility since he removes so much material from his soil every season. I haven't the courage to go that far with soil management. I roto-till all my plots each season at planting time and then turn in and roto-till all the dead plant material back into the soil in the autumn.

Sounds like your Ecuadorean bean from the land of eternal spring was very likely day length sensitive.
 

ducks4you

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I will probably lay down a LOT of cardboard this year, with mulch on top. I can do this after 24 years of removing horse stall bedding, available.
You friend would need a Lot of compost to do that.
I agree with his chain link fencing.
When I bought my tomato fencing--really livestock fencing--2 years ago, I bought a 50 ft roll, 6 ft high, that had smaller openings than the cattle fencing that I had bought that DH and I used to use for 9 years to repair the 40+yo cattle fencing.
IMHO, the smaller the openings, the Better the fencing is for vining vegetables. Also, the better to tie up and wind tomatoes through, which I did last year.
I still have the five 4' tall, 12 ft long fencelines that I built four years ago for tomatoes, and I used chicken wire. It isn't tall enough for indeterminates, but has worked very well for two Fall crops of cucumbers and beans .
What Good is your fencing if you have to tie up ALL of the seedlings to help them climb?
NONE of the bean or cucumber seedlings asked me for help. I would go out and discover them clinging to the fencing. The ones that didn't were my fault bc I planted too far away from the fencing.
I planted 5 rows of sugar snap peas in the last week. Since they are 2yo seeds it was worth putting them into the ground to see what happens, and I have newer seed.
Two rows are on the tomato fencing and three are on the chicken wire fencing.
I plan to move all four 12' rows of tomato fencing right next to 4/5 of the chicken wire fencing. this is for my crop rotation. One of the rows has some shade, so it will be used for different things later in the season.
My planting will be interesting, some of the north side of each of the four rows, plants that vine better on chicken wire.
I have, in the past 2 years, planted beans and cucumbers directly UNDER the chicken wire fencing.
I even planted some of the north side of the fencing, just to see what would happen.
They all tried to migrate south for more sun.:lol:
Speaking of chain link fencing, I also plan to plant some vining vegetables on the south side of my chicken run, which is 12 x 30 ft of dog chain link fencing.
I really don't care if the vegetables are eaten by the chickens, or if I am able to harvest. Perhaps nasturtiums?
I have also read that sunflowers can be planted to shade cool weather vegetables as the temperatures heat up.
Certainly companions are helpful.
 
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heirloomgal

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He never roto-tills his soil and he just breaks up the soil at planting time around his poles with a hand trowel then plants beans around his poles which are left in the ground perpetually also. He removes all the dead plants in the fall at clean up. I wonder how long he will maintain enough soil fertility since he removes so much material from his soil every season. I haven't the courage to go that far with soil management. I roto-till all my plots each season at planting time and then turn in and roto-till all the dead plant material back into the soil in the autumn.
I would wonder too, since I know in commerical practice they consider it nearly essential to till back under as much as they can of the plant remnants since it adds back a huge percentage of nitrogen, I think the stats the bean agronomist sent me said 80%. It was huge. Last year I ran all my plants through the mulcher and spread the bean 'sawdust' all over the beds, and the year before I spread everything over the rhubarb bed - and the rhubarb went nuts the next year with growth.

I tried no till for one year, but it wasn't a good idea in my location. The cutworms really increased the next year. It was a lot more work too. But there was a woman in the 70's, can't think of her name, and she was a huge proponent of no till and gardening under mulch. She thought it was the greatest thing since slice bread. Ruth Stout, just thought of her name.
 

ducks4you

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No till demands a LOT of work to compost your materials. MY compost is mostly used stall bedding. It includes straw. The straw Won't break down if it isn't turned. Do I defeat the "no till" by turning my compost?
The biggest drawback on tilling is weed seeds.
We are not all muscleman gardeners. I still use my tiller. As soon as it dries out I will be tilling in the cover crop of turnips that has died down. EVERY YEAR I find myself getting my hands dirty as I dig up and then break up soil for seeds. Compaction that occurs makes it difficult for seedlings to spread out their roots.
I think it's like anything else. Too much coffee and we are shaking. None and I cannot really wake up.
Moderation.
 
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Ladyreneer

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they all take very nice pictures. :)




i'm a "he" not a "her", but it's ok - i'm used to that happening. :)

i didn't and don't expect you to take pictures of each bean seperately unless you really want to do that - that would be quite a large project. :)

the half white mix i sent i didn't even keep track of how many containers i took samples from but i think it was at least 20 and probably closer to 30. none of them are named beans other than me calling them a half white and they all are likely related to each other in some way. some of them are easy to tell apart from the others.
I actually knew you were a "he" as you mentioned it in passing when we texted. I just thought it was a little "secret" to protect your identity. 😂
 

flowerbug

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I actually knew you were a "he" as you mentioned it in passing when we texted. I just thought it was a little "secret" to protect your identity. 😂

hahahaha! ok! :) no, no secret, but just somehow when i write i don't usually write a lot of gendered clues so people assume what they will. i've had some penpals think i was female for months or longer before i finally write something which makes them reevaluate. i'm sure it is also a part of how i was raised and who i spend most of my time with now.

i still need to unpack from the seed swap but i have all these empty shelves now and not sure i want to fill them back up. i will, but it won't be soon...

most of the beans for planting are still in their spots here too, but i can see those easily enough.
 

Pulsegleaner

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I was disappointed that the Ecuadorean beans sent to me by a seed requester last year did not even produce flowers. I haven't done any research into the climate of Ecuador but I think it has to do with day length sensitivity, if I recall correctly he had messaged me while he was still actually there, and called the place 'land of eternal spring'. So, they may never grow where I live. The seeds were just gorgeous though, perfectly formed.

Given what happened to me when I was trying to work with the "Ice Cream Sandwich" beans @Blue-Jay sent me (which I worked out were from Colombia, I think). I'm inclined to agree. The ones planted in the ground grew beautifully, but never made bud one in the entire season. When I planted the last one in a pot, so I could carry it indoors. It took until sometime in January/February to get any flower buds, I I don't think I got any seed until March/April (and even then, it was one pod of very poor looking seed, due to the plant by that point having lost all of it's leaves and other pods to stress from being inside in less than optimal conditions)

Assuming the region was somewhere around the Ecuadorian part of the Andes, "The Land of Eternal Spring" could be a very accurate term. The Andes are a pretty rare climate area; they're on or near the Equator, so there really are no serious seasons, but they are also extremely high. So, if where you live is somewhere in the middle height wise, you really DO basically get spring/fall weather all year round, and the plants have evolved to work with that. It's why Andean corn often takes 270 days to go seed to seed, and many other crops from there can actually take more than one year anywhere else to produce anything (like ahipa.)
 

heirloomgal

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Given what happened to me when I was trying to work with the "Ice Cream Sandwich" beans @Blue-Jay sent me (which I worked out were from Colombia, I think). I'm inclined to agree. The ones planted in the ground grew beautifully, but never made bud one in the entire season. When I planted the last one in a pot, so I could carry it indoors. It took until sometime in January/February to get any flower buds, I I don't think I got any seed until March/April (and even then, it was one pod of very poor looking seed, due to the plant by that point having lost all of it's leaves and other pods to stress from being inside in less than optimal conditions)

Assuming the region was somewhere around the Ecuadorian part of the Andes, "The Land of Eternal Spring" could be a very accurate term. The Andes are a pretty rare climate area; they're on or near the Equator, so there really are no serious seasons, but they are also extremely high. So, if where you live is somewhere in the middle height wise, you really DO basically get spring/fall weather all year round, and the plants have evolved to work with that. It's why Andean corn often takes 270 days to go seed to seed, and many other crops from there can actually take more than one year anywhere else to produce anything (like ahipa.)
I may reach out to him sometime and ask if he had any luck with them, since i'm quite certain he grew some as well. But he's only about 5 hours east of me, so I think we were probably in the same boat with them. 🚣‍♂️
 
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