7 May 2013, by gj
You can purchase some dry bean seeds from your favorite seed supplier, or save some money by getting some ‘soup’ beans from the grocery store.
We did this back in 2010, and have not had the need to buy seed since.
Dry beans like those pictured below from the local grocery were a little over $2 per pound, about what you would pay for a packet (1/8 pound) of seeds at your local nursery (or more through the mail with shipping charges added).
“What?” you may be thinking. Yes it’s true…and it gets even better:
Since the beans are seeds, we had enough seed left from the harvest to plant the following year, and so on.
For approximately $5 we have enough dry beans for the rest of our lives.
“What???” You may be shocked and amazed but it’s true.
These beans will never become soup, but their kids will.
(no soup for you!)
Dry beans are easy enough to plant.
When the weather is good and warm, just drag your trowel through the soil to make a small trench.
Throw in beans. You can take the time to carefully set them in but we don’t. They seem to handle overplanting very well.
Cover the trench and water.
Even easier, plant before a rain.
Only a week after planting.
Beans are a very healthy source of protein and are high in fiber, good for a lot of what ails you.
We really love them too, most especially as hummus. You can use a variety of beans to make it.
Some beans you can pick young for fresh eating, then let the rest dry on the plant.
Beans produce more the more you pick, so have at ‘em. Dry or fresh you just open the pod to get the beans.
This worked so well that we did purchase a few seeds to add additional color to what we grow. Now we harvest a wonderful assortment each year, without having to buy any more seeds.
We have also learned that you can get an even bigger harvest by warming up a bed simply by clamping plastic on it, and keeping the seeds/seedlings warm until the weather is better for them.
Here they come, a full month early.
Note that most dry beans are bush types or semi-vining, meaning they cling on to each other. If you buy beans in the store, chances are you won’t have to trellis them. Check a seed catalog first for more specifics on their needs.
More on growing Dry Beans
Other seeds from the market
Categories: beans, how to grow
15 September 2012, by gj
fava bean bud
Trying something new in the garden always makes it that much more fun, and this year Fava Beans, aka Broad Beans were a first.
tiny fava flower bud
And most certainly, not the last.
Our plants began producing beautiful little white flowers with a tiny spec of black on each one.
fava bean flowers
Beans in general are self-pollinating, which only means they have both male and female parts on the same flower.
In this case, insects can help with the pollination.
fava beans from the buds
The fava bean plant can get pretty tall, so it’s best to plant them close together for support.
They can easily be overtaken by weeds.
fava beans growing
We also found that the rabbits really like them.
Really, really like them.
And since we had a very mild winter, we have rabbits and weeds in abundance.
fava beans in the field
This ended up being our entire harvest, but wow were they good!
So good in fact that we are trying a fall planting to see what happens.
If nothing else, they make a good cover crop.
In the meantime, we’re hoping the chickens can scare off the darn rabbits.
go Ladies go!
Botanical name: Vicia faba
Yield: Many beans per plant, if the rabbits don’t get them.
Planting time: Same as peas, they can take temps down as low as 10 degrees F.
Harvest: I hear you can eat them whole if you pick them small, but usually they are harvested when the pods become plump. They can also be left to dry on the plant.
Storage: Blanch and freeze whole bean, peel before eating.
Pests: They attract aphids.
Seeds: Considered to be open pollinated and heirloom, you can save the seeds.
Wikipedia on Fava Beans
Categories: beans, how to grow
31 December 2011, by gj
Mandolin loves this.
Many cultures have particular foods that they believe bring good luck if eaten on New Year’s Eve.
Mandolin’s family always eats Pickled Herring.
I was reading about some different dishes that bring good luck in the New Year and well, tying to avoid grimacing while I slide down a slippery fish-
I decided to make Lentil Soup instead.
more my style
The Lentils are thought to represent coins, and the pork represents prosperity- not necessarily financially, although that works too.
If you want to keep the soup vegetarian, just add a little Liquid Smoke for flavoring instead.
2 cups dry Lentils, soaked and drained
1 Ham bone
1 cup chopped Onion
1 cup chopped Carrots
1 clove Garlic
1 Bay Leaf
10 cups cold water
Add all these ingredients to a large soup pot. Bring slowly to a boil and simmer 3 hours.
Remove the Ham bone and Bay Leaf and add:
1 tsp. Tabasco
2 Tbs. Vinegar
Salt to taste
Simmer an additional 20 minutes, serve.
1 tsp. Tabasco
double the luck
Now I’ve never grown Lentils and I wondered if I could, so I did a search.
Once again I found some conflicting information on the internet.
I did finally settle on the sight listed below as the best overall, and started to look in my seed catalogs for lentils-
Duh! Wait a minute-I have seeds right here.
How to Grow Lentils
Different foods that bring good luck.
Categories: beans, how to grow, recipes, special posts
9 December 2011, by gj
beauty at a higher level
When planning your garden, whether to grow pole beans or bush beans is more often a decision that’s based on what variety of beans you want.
If you are looking for a basic table green bean, then you have to make a decision.
good to grow up
Pole beans will generally yield more veggie per space they use.
You can buy numerous types of supports, use your own fence or trellis, or hand make a simple teepee style to grow your beans up.
I’ve also seen some wonderful lean-to’s, a simple square wooden frame with screening attached.
When used at an angle with support, lettuce will grow well underneath and benefit from the shade the frame offers.
Other than green beans, the variety of bean will determine the growing method.
Yard-long beans are a fun to grow pole bean.
and let's not forget
In the Jones’ garden you’ll find more shell beans planted than anything else.
These are typically bush beans, but they do produce well for the amount of space they take.
Since they dry on the plant, they are easy to harvest and store.
drying shell beans
However, in an effort to waste no space- if you look behind the asparagus growing by the fence, I’ll bet you’ll see some type of pole bean growing up.
What’s your favorite bean to grow?
Categories: beans, gardening
13 January 2011, by gj
there's a gnome in my beans
As you’re planning your garden this winter, consider growing some beans.
Beans are highly complicated and have exceptionally particular growing requirements. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Put the seed in the soil, cover, water. Walk away.
Just don’t go too far, they grow fast.
Beans are actually that easy.
There are two main types of beans – fresh and dried/shell beans.
The fresh beans are, simply, the ones you eat right from the plant – green beans, wax beans, footlongs, Italian flat beans, etc. You eat the whole bean shell and all.
(I’ve seen some of your pictures of footlongs- WOW!)
These beans are either “pole” – requiring support, or “bush” beans.
Which you choose depends on a number of factors.
Pole beans need a structure such as a bean pole, fencing, trellis or netting for support.
They are said to have a better flavor and to produce more.
Harvesting is easier because they are not crowded, and you can grow veggies below that like a little shade.
Bush beans don’t require anything but soil and water.
Dry beans are the ‘soup’ type beans that dry on the plant and are harvested at that stage.
What you eat is actually the seed.
They are high in fiber and protein and simple to grow.
Generally they are ‘bush’ type beans.
Dry beans can be stored over the off season easily. Be sure they are completely dry.
holding back the bean onslaught
For all of these beans, plant when the soil is warm and there will be no more frost.
Some people like to sprout their seeds indoors first, there’s no real need to do this.
Beans add nitrogen to the soil and do well with corn and winter squashes.
You can in fact grow pole beans up corn stalks.
Harvest fresh beans as they ripen, dry beans as they dry in the pod.
The Fresh Bean Exceptions:
Soybeans- all the beans ripen at the same time, what you eat is the seed.
Fava or Broad bean- plant as soon as the ground can be worked, they can handle the cold. Again, you eat the seed.
Lima Beans- eat the seeds.
Fresh Shell Beans- many of the Dried/Shell beans can also be eaten fresh. Eat the seed.
Yield – you will get many beans per plant, one plant per seed.
Store – Be sure Dry Beans are completely dry before storing. I run mine through the dehydrator to be on the safe side. Fresh beans can be pressure canned, frozen, pickled or dehydrated.
The YouTube VideoDry Beans
Growing beans on the skinny
Beans for Boobies
Categories: beans, how to grow