A Seed Saver's Garden 2021

Zeedman

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The deformities may be a result of conditions, and/or it could be a weakness unique to the variety. It happens; I have one such bean, "Champagne", which is a white-seeded pole snap. The vines set a huge pod load; but in each 7-8" pod, there may only be 1-2 good seeds. So while shelling, I had to constantly sort & separate the ~20% good from the ~80% that are shrunken or deformed. :thI thought that might have been just a bad year; but the next time I grew it, the same results - and all other beans in that plot were normal. Others who have grown it (including @Bluejay77 ) haven't reported having this problem, it may just be a peculiar sensitivity to something in my soil. It seems to set way more pods than it can support to maturity.

In spite of the difficulty in saving seed, I still like the variety due to its enormous yield of snaps. Sometimes what makes an "heirloom" worth growing isn't that it is perfect, it is that the negative attributes are outweighed by the positives.
 

flowerbug

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Sorry, poor choice of words on my part. I guess I should have said the seeds were germinating in their pods. The seed coats in pic #3 are all split open from the seed imbibing so much water, and swelling. The next step is to send out a sprout, but it hadn't progressed quite that far though it would have. But the seeds with split seedcoats were definitely ruined, no question about it. In fact, many of them were no longer a single bean seed, but two halves that would fall apart without the seedcoat. Totally rubbery, and wrecked. The last photo of the green pod with immature beans in it, I posted not to show sprouting (they hadn't) but to show the thick layer of wet slush the beans sit in while 'drying down'. No wonder they are prone to sprouting! This is what they looked like when I peeled the split seedcoat off the bean seeds -
View attachment 44097

This was the DRIED pod -
View attachment 44098

At least it was 50- 50 for good vs. wrecked seed. Good news though, the vast majority of my shelled seeds that did not have split seedcoats look like they will mature just fine. No sign of wrinkling, or shabby seedcoats despite not drying down in the pod. And there is still a goodly amount of seeds there to try again.

oh, ok, yes, that is pretty different than what i've seen, normally when seeds get wet enough long enough here they're sprouting and there will be roots and leaves coming right out of the pod. i don't see too much of what you have there in this batch.

the green fleshy pods types of beans i have will have seeds in them but they don't sprout until after the pod is done enough and the pod has withered enough so any changes that happen due to weather before then are more likely due to frost damage causing them to start fermenting and that's a whole different mess and looks much like what you posted. except this year it hasn't gotten that cold yet. i think that what you show is just the nature of the plant. i hope next season isn't like this one and you can see a more decent return - however, that said it may just be the nature of that variety as for sure some i have moved on from myself after finding out after a few season that they just don't work out here.
 

heirloomgal

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Two bean varieties that are really difficult to get a good photo of. Something about their colours just bounces light wrong for me.


'Yoeme Pastel Eye' pole bean. Seed quality with these ones was a bit hit and miss, beans that mature later for me can be like that, but generally good. The extra time sitting in cool, not yet dry pods isn't ideal. Warm & dry conditions are better, though not so available this time of year. While I'm happy with how it did in the end, I have a feeling it comes from an arid climate. The pods were very thin, and easily absorped humidity from the air. I really made sure to pick them as often as possible to avoid rain falling on them.
20210930_221540.jpg



'Rio Zape' semi-runner. Picked open the first dry pods this week. Definitely a later one, while 'Tigre' which grew right next to it was completely done (picked, dried, shelled) quite awhile ago . Will have to finish it in the house at this point. The ground is full of moisture with not much probability of drying up before the snow flies.
20210930_221906.jpg
 
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flowerbug

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The deformities may be a result of conditions, and/or it could be a weakness unique to the variety. It happens; I have one such bean, "Champagne", which is a white-seeded pole snap. The vines set a huge pod load; but in each 7-8" pod, there may only be 1-2 good seeds. So while shelling, I had to constantly sort & separate the ~20% good from the ~80% that are shrunken or deformed. :thI thought that might have been just a bad year; but the next time I grew it, the same results - and all other beans in that plot were normal. Others who have grown it (including @Bluejay77 ) haven't reported having this problem, it may just be a peculiar sensitivity to something in my soil. It seems to set way more pods than it can support to maturity.

In spite of the difficulty in saving seed, I still like the variety due to its enormous yield of snaps. Sometimes what makes an "heirloom" worth growing isn't that it is perfect, it is that the negative attributes are outweighed by the positives.

all well said and within my experience too. some varieties i grow have certain traits that make them not perfect, but i keep growing them hoping for interesting crosses to show up and if i keep growing a majority of beans that are better in traits then the chances are that crosses will be improvements. so far i have several of those that have happened and growing them in my conditions here is a pretty severe stress test so that helps me select for beans that do better. i have several new ones this year that look great. :)

one thing to try that i have not tried before would be to thin the pods so that the plant can put more energy into finishing the beans in fewer pods. i'm thinking that the beans that aren't finishing is just a sign that conditions somehow change too quickly for the plant to adapt. without viability testing i don't know if those beans that aren't fully coated are good enough to replant or not. they are edible. :)

in order from more finicky towards more reliable (at the end):

my most notable finicky beans are Etna (a cranberry type horticultural bean), Early Warwick and Fort Portal Jade. Early Warwick needs better and sandier soil than most of what i have, Etna seems similar and Fort Portal Jade i have no idea what it needs as i've failed more often than not in getting decent seeds from growing it. i still have green plants in the gardens of these but they have no pods and no viable seeds at all this season - not one seed. i'm not sure i have any more seeds of those in my collection to try again next year in a different location (the north garden with better soil but no fence).

i'm not sure where to put Venda yet since i've only grown it a few times but in terms of seed production i've only had good seeds in quantity from it in one of two years so to me that is more finicky than i'd like. it seems to do better in the more sandy soils so i'll keep with that and try a few seeds next year in the even better soil of the north garden to see how it does there. it is still green and growing and putting on new pods even now so that might make it a good producer over the entire season. the work with this one will continue.

Appaloosa and Painted Pony can also be temperamental in not finishing seeds well but not as finicky as the above beans. they'll have pointed and unclosed seed coats on the ends of a fair proportion of the seeds, but a good year for either of these and the seeds look great so i keep growing them from time to time to refresh my seed supply and also give us enough for eating some of them. the reject and unfinished beans that aren't rotten are edible so it isn't a loss compared to rot troubles. the fun part is that i do get these to cross with other beans and i have plenty of new beans to keep working with for improvements that don't have the same trouble. i may have at least four new ones this season alone to keep replanting to trial further.

i now have to put Dapple Gray as more finicky. Yellow Eye i just moved up as less finicky. funny how that worked out this season.

further down the scale of finicky and closer to more reliable are the Red Ryder beans which may have an off year about one in five years it seems for the trait of not fully finishing a seed coat, but the best features of this bean mean i keep growing it and i have several crosses that are related to this bean which shows improvement (Huey and Sunset are likely two of them and i'm sure i have others by now). Sunset i'm still evaluating but it did well this year even with the heat so one more year of growing them as a bulk bean should tell me more.

at the other end of reliable scale are Purple Dove. they rarely have any seeds not finish because they just make smaller seeds but also because the plant doesn't waste much energy on the pod (there's very little fiber in them when they're dried down it is almost like tissue paper it is so fine in texture - if you compare these pods to something like the Yellow Eye or Dapple Gray you can see that PD puts very little wasted effort into the pods). it is not as finicky about soil types as much as others, can be eaten down to almost nothing by JB's and still produce some dry seeds of good quality and of course all the other desireable traits for why i like them. i have bags of them to shell out yet so i can't say anything about stability and crosses this year but so far i'm not seeing any out-crosses in these. which is not what i'm hoping for but i'll know the answer to that for this season in a few weeks/months.
 
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flowerbug

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Two bean varieties that are really difficult to get a good photo of. Something about their colours just bounces light wrong for me.


'Yoeme Pastel Eye' pole bean. Seed quality with these ones was a bit hit and miss, beans that mature later for me can be like that, but generally good. The extra time sitting in cool, not yet dry pods isn't ideal. Warm & dry conditions are better, though not so available this time of year. While I'm happy with how it did in the end, I have a feeling it comes from an arid climate. The pods were very thin, and easily absorped humidity from the air. I really made sure to pick them as often as possible to avoid rain falling on them.
View attachment 44108


'Rio Zape' semi-runner. Picked open the first dry pods this week. Definitely a later one, while 'Tigre' which grew right next to it was completely done (picked, dried, shelled) quite awhile ago . Will have to finish it in the house at this point. The ground is full of moisture with not much probability of drying up before the snow flies.
View attachment 44110

i'm sure not one to comment on how to get better pictures because i don't have the eye for it yet. still a work in progress. :)

with paper thin pods Yoeme Pastel Eye might be a good fresh eating bean, did you try them like that?

my experience with another very thin pod when dry bean Purple Dove is that while they may rot and sprout (with repeated days of too much moisture or pods dragging in the dirt after they have dried down) they still may give enough of a return to be worth it (if you can't pick them often enough). if they work well as a fresh eating bean then picking more often isn't a waste of time.

while i do like the colors of both of these beans a great deal i just don't want to have too many pole beans growing here.
 

baymule

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I finally got caught up. I admire all the work you put into your garden and I know your family appreciates the good food you raise and prepare for them. I love the pictures you take and share with us.

You keep it up and get ready for next year. I will be listing the farm in the spring so it is highly doubtful that I'll be planting a garden. I'll have to live vicariously through you and others here and the beautiful pictures you post!
 

heirloomgal

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I finally got caught up. I admire all the work you put into your garden and I know your family appreciates the good food you raise and prepare for them. I love the pictures you take and share with us.

You keep it up and get ready for next year. I will be listing the farm in the spring so it is highly doubtful that I'll be planting a garden. I'll have to live vicariously through you and others here and the beautiful pictures you post!
:hugs
 

heirloomgal

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It's been an unbelievably dreadful couple of days. I feel horrendous and my sleep is interrupted. Thank goodness I have gardening - some meaningful escape - to find refuge in. It's beginning. The arrests are beginning. Several mothers were arrested here Thursday for not having 'papers', arrested in front of their crying, screaming little ones while bringing their children for playtime at their local recreation centres. This is in southern Ontario. This is monstrous.


One of the mothers that was arrested, was a police woman from my town, bringing her kids to hockey practice. They arrested her in front of her kids too.

This has never been about caring for people's health.
It's always been about tyranny and despotism.
From day one.

These two mothers were arrested in exactly the kind of facility where I go to seed swaps - buy seeds, sells seeds, and talk with other gardeners. I was aware that they would ask me to leave if I went, since I will not be getting 'papers'. I did not know that this is what they will do to me if I go. This is all totally illegal and against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; you cannot arrest someone for trespassing in a public facility or retail outfit unless they are engaged in an activity that bears no connection to the facility itself. The police are actually breaking the law to execute these orders. This is complete totalitarianism. I need to pinch myself.

So every time I get on the computer to check the latest unfolding appalling tyranny, and start feeling very ill, I go out and buy a box of bulbs. For spring, for the future , for hope, for life that blooms in ice and snow. With each of those bulbs I put into the soil today, with a very heavy heart, I thought of all the people the world over who have suffered under communism, all the people who are going to, as this country becomes a socialist slag heap.
I'm on my 15th box of bulbs. At the rate I'm going, the vegetable garden will be full soon.

We've lost so much already in Canada. A steady erosion of freedom of speech, freedom to protect ourselves, our children, our homes, and now the freedom to have bodily autonomy. We've all been on our knees to big government for a long time, and this is the knockout punch. The one meant to finish us off, beat us into submission. If this doesn't wake Canada up, she's doomed.

I need more bulbs.
 

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flowerbug

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I didn't because they are a network bean 😉
I usually don't cook a bean in the 1st year I grow it, I wait until the second grow out.

oh yeah, i understand, i sure don't eat many of them when i grow out the first time, but i do want to know if a bean will work that ways so i will sample a pod, this helps me figure out what i'm going to be doing with it in the future so if it turns out to be a good bean in our soils/gardens and it is also edible as a fresh bean then i'll plant differently than if it is a dry bean only. the evaluation of shelly stage eating is often a 2nd or later year test i'll do.
 
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