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

flowerbug

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Hi, I am intrested in registering for this network. Can you advise me on how to do so?

read the beginning post in this thread and also check out @Blue-Jay 's website [*] and look at the network pages. basically you are volunteering to grow out some beans for the network and return a certain amount of refreshed beans in exchange for being able to select other varieties to grow. it is a very nice way to get ahold of a diversity of beans you won't likely find in any single place. the beans that need to be regrown are normally listed towards the top of the thread but also you can check the website and see what in the network pages hasn't been grown in recent years.

if you are overseas that may add some complications. :(

there are also plenty of previous year's bean threads to enjoy reading while waiting for planting season to arrive. :)

[*] A Bean Collectors Window
 

Blue-Jay

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Recently I had some contact with a Ukrainian grower who purchased beans from me back in late 2021. I have seen a couple of their lima photos lately and there were two that grabbed by attention. One called Butterfly which is a large white lima with these small dark sparsely placed speckles at one of the seed. I thought this was a very unique and interesting bean. There was also this bush lima simply called Red Lima. I thought is was a very interesting color for a bush lima. Most bush limas in this country are light green tint and are old commercial varieties. I will probably do some bean trading in the fall and acquire these two limas from this person in Ukraine.

Butterfly - Lima.jpgRed Bush Lima.jpg
Butterfly - Pole Lima................................................................Red Lima - Bush
 
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heirloomgal

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Beautiful limas @Blue-Jay. I especially like the one on the left. I'll always have a bit of envy in my heart for those who can grow limas! There are a lot of beautiful varieties in the species.

Some truly wonderful developments around here lately in regards to beans. Today we cut down 3 cedar tree clusters in the yard, which between them contained about 16 large trees. These trees had shaded 2 of my large vegetable beds by mid afternoon, and my front yard perennial garden as well. So, given that I no longer have the shade in the front yard I plan on eliminating most perennial flowers and doing a mix of vegetables (beans!) in the front along with some peonies and a few other favorite perennial flowers that I'll keep. I'll likely add some tidy, small dwarf tomatoes up there too. I started a pretty one with chartreuse foliage in April so that'll look nice amid the deep green of the beans plants. I'm just not as interested in flowers as much as I am in beans! I think I'll get a decorative trellis and do some pole/runner beans in the front yard too if I can figure out how to avoid making shade with it.

The other 2 large vegetable beds I couldn't grow much beans in anymore because of the increasing shade over the years, but now I'm FREE! This tree removal has given me a ton more space, which is fantastic and I'm just thrilled. (Plus, I don't like cedar trees.) I can feel better air flow already. That was a lot of trees.

But, more than all this, the cedars were 40 years old and the trunks are very large, about 12 feet of each log is a good width, pretty straight and highly usable. My plan this week with DS & DD is to teach them to strip logs, since DH chainsawed all the branches and bits off and they're ready. Then, I can make more bean growing beds with them! The style will be a little rustic, but cedar logs last and once the plants grow they won't be really noticable. I already peeled a bit off a few and they look so smooth and nice under that rough bark. Log gardens here I come - a true Canadian look. 🤣
 

heirloomgal

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Well, DD couldn't wait until Monday so we tackled trees today, progress!

We started with a couple piles of these.
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I didn't take a before pic, but this is one of the remaining trees in the front yard - same height as the ones we cut.
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The stumps don't seem that big, but the trees sure were tall. After all the wood is processed we'll dig these out. The least fun job of all. Luckily cedar roots tend to be really shallow so we'll pull back the earth, axe as much as we can and then use a jack to pry what's left out.
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In a day's time we got almost 1/2 done. Bark will go straight into the shredder for mulch. Peeling makes a mess tho! We kept on top of it so after each log each of us did we cleaned up. We got lucky because the sap is running and the bark peels off like a breeze. Only thing that slows us down is the knots and branch nubs.
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I discovered it's so much easier to lean them up to peel, instead of squat down.
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The branches will be a full day's job to be rid of, We have a bunch of huge piles. It's so much we can't even mulch it all. At least some needs to go to the dump. Hopefully this summer I will have pics of beans growing in some raised beds made of these logs.
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Branching Out

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I had no idea that you could peel back the bark from a mature cedar tree. This is quite an education! I can imagine that you will have beautiful and long lasting edges on those raised beds this summer. 🌲
 

heirloomgal

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I had no idea that you could peel back the bark from a mature cedar tree.
Yes, you can peel them easily but only for short period of time in spring, and then the bark goes right back to being cemented on. Our hands were covered in sap by the end of the day, not that there's a lot in any one place, but in drops in lots of places and it accumulates. It is so darn satisfying to pry up some bark edging and pull..... and it goes 3/4 of the way down the log in a huge piece. 😌
 

heirloomgal

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I had the weirdest lightbulb moment last night. I have no idea why I didn't think of this sooner. I have been making miniature electro-culture wands for my tomato and pepper seedlings in pots for the last week. I found a great deal on copper wire at the local hardware store, 12 bucks for 100 feet.
I won't mention how many hundreds of feet I've used :hide:lol:.

The gauge is a high 24, but it's nice and easy to manipulate at that size. And I got a couple 100 piece bags of BBQ skewers at the dollar store, and snipped them in half. Given that I start all my beans a month before plant out, I've been experimenting the last 2 years with both ashes and coffee grinds (and cloth) to keep bean seed flies away. I think my bean harvest records last year were due to my finally making a dent in their predation of my seedlings, mostly due to the e-poles I think. Anyway, so out of the blue I thought - hey when I plant the bean seeds I'll steal all the electro-culture wands from the tomatoes and peppers and put them in the bean pots! Any maggot type crawly thing hates the e-poles. The toms & peps won't need them in a week I'm sure at the rate they're growing with them under lights! Haha, I'm excited to see if this will help my bean seedlings!

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BeanWonderin

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I had the weirdest lightbulb moment last night. I have no idea why I didn't think of this sooner. I have been making miniature electro-culture wands for my tomato and pepper seedlings in pots for the last week. I found a great deal on copper wire at the local hardware store, 12 bucks for 100 feet.
I won't mention how many hundreds of feet I've used :hide:lol:.

The gauge is a high 24, but it's nice and easy to manipulate at that size. And I got a couple 100 piece bags of BBQ skewers at the dollar store, and snipped them in half. Given that I start all my beans a month before plant out, I've been experimenting the last 2 years with both ashes and coffee grinds (and cloth) to keep bean seed flies away. I think my bean harvest records last year were due to my finally making a dent in their predation of my seedlings, mostly due to the e-poles I think. Anyway, so out of the blue I thought - hey when I plant the bean seeds I'll steal all the electro-culture wands from the tomatoes and peppers and put them in the bean pots! Any maggot type crawly thing hates the e-poles. The toms & peps won't need them in a week I'm sure at the rate they're growing with them under lights! Haha, I'm excited to see if this will help my bean seedlings!

View attachment 65451
I'm interested in whether this will work for you. I'll have to read up on e-poles. I've never used them before. Do you hook them up to a battery or fencer?
 

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