Collecting Seeds (Bush Beans)

It is that time of year again. For the past two or three weeks the kids and I have been working over the bean patch in an attempt to gather seed. We basically have been growing three main types of beans over the past three years and added in a Lima bean variety this year.

The Pencil Pod beans are probably the easiest to get out of their shell. For the most part the pod will dry and become brittle and you can just work it out with your fingers with little difficulty. The other two varieties, the Dragon's Tongue and the Royalty Purple, are a bit more "fleshy" for lack of a better term and you have to keep an eye on the plant so that it does not rot before you get to the bean. So in essence it is a timing game with those two variety's because you need to work the bean from the shell after they have become ripe but before they are lost to mold. Due to this the Royalty Purple has been slow in regards to a solid build up of seed. The Dragon's Tongue on the other hand easily rivals the Pencil Pod in bulk and I am very happy about that, since it has become a bit of a favorite with relatives.

Once you take the beans from the pod, like the peas, you allow them to dry for about two weeks and then store them in the fridge. Once again be sure to label your jar so that you know the ins and outs of your crops.

Best of luck!

Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. Click on the Mother Earth News logo at the bottom of the page for all of his post. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead which is a central location for his homesteading blogs and his homeschooling blog, A Mile In Her Shoes: Tales Of A Stay-At Home Dad found here


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