Wednesday, August 24, 2011

harvesting beans




so here is the follow up post to the growing beans post from earlier this season.  after all that work, i am reaping the benefits of my bean extravaganza.  so far, i have harvested almost all of the tiger's eye beans (the orange/red ones), and less than half of the calypso beans (the black and white ones).  i've also picked a couple of pounds of the purple pod pole and sultan's golden crescent fresh beans.  i still have october beans and hutterite soup beans that i saved from last year as well.

growing dry beans is one of the easiest things to do in your garden, since they are so low maintenance.  just make sure they are decently watered while they are growing, and just leave them on the plants until they are fully crispy.  shell the beans, spread them out on a baking tray, and bake in the oven on the lowest setting for 10-15 minutes to make sure there are no weevils or other itty bitty critters enjoying your beans.  one new technique that i tried this year was rolling the bean seeds in rhizobium powder prior to planting.  this is supposed to increase yields by up to 100%, but honestly, i saw no difference [at least in the ones i've harvested so far].  i'd love to hear if anyone has different experience with this. 

here are a few sources for heirloom bean recipes:
:: seed savers heritage farm bean salad (this is where i purchase my bean seeds)
:: rancho gordo  (both rancho gordo and seed savers also sell heirloom beans for cooking if you don't want to grow your own).  they also have a whole book of heirloom bean recipes!
:: 101 cookbooks heirloom beans and seitan recipe
:: becky and the beanstalk (i made this hutterite bean soup last winter)

do you have any favorite heirloom bean recipes or tips?


  1. i really want to try planting beans after reading this post. yours are so beautiful! (hi freddie!)

  2. I definitely look forward to growing some dry beans in the future, glad to know that it is pretty easy to do!

  3. My tip is to not believe it when the seed packet says "semi bush" (or even "bush") and have a good trellis just in case. I like growing Lima beans and black eyed peas, as you can enjoy them fresh as well as let them dry. Such pretty flowers, too.

  4. we tried growing dried beans for the first time this year! It is too cool!
    I'm making a gigantic mental note, though that I'll need to plant more than a few plants to get any kind of stash to have throughout the winter. :)
    BTW---your garden is absolutely gorgeous! Maybe I've asked this before somewhere on your blog and just never have come back to see if you responded, but where did you get your sandals? I adore them. :)

  5. ValHalla- great tip. I'm not the best about making trellises for my beans. But you're right, even if they say semi-bush the definitely get tangled and would benefit from something to climb on.

    Rebecca- I'm so glad you tried it, and yes you do need more than a few plants. Last year I planted one seed packet each of two varieties and got about 2 cups each. I'd recommend at least that much (and you can plant them pretty close together so it doesn't have to take up a ton of space). Also-my sandals are from Simple. And thanks for your kind words about my garden!

  6. What lovely colors! We eat quite a few beans. My youngest finally likes beans (black and kidney, mainly) and that says a lot since he's a picky eater. So I'm wondering how many seed packets to plant for a family of 6? Math...oh

  7. What about the local seeds, hint hint.
    Happy Cat Farm