last year when i said I was going to attempt to grow more beans this gardening season, many of you were interested in doing just the same. well i did grow more beans and i am happy to report that i ended up with two full quarts each of dried yin yangs, jacob’s cattle, and tiger’s eye (changed to tigress’ eye around my digz). that equals twelve meals for a family of two – not bad!
all of the beans were of the bush variety, which means there was no need to tie each plant to a trellis. why make more work i say? the seeds went directly into the ground the second week of june and didn’t need much except for a bit of watering during the first couple of weeks. one twelve foot row produced approximately one quart of dried beans.
yes, i know you just did the math, there are eight rows there. the two exotic looking rows in the middle are black garbanzos. they were, apparently, a little too exotic for my new england growing season. that experiment didn’t go so well. there was just one other caveat in my bean growing adventure; bean-lovin’ deer! the bed you see above was one of two – the deer devoured the other one in a bean eating frenzy one fateful july night. i woke up to a sea of trampled, beanless stems. ugh!
the best part of growing your own beans, other than of course, eating the most fresh, juiciest and plump-when-you-cook-’em beans you could possibly eat is that they are pretty stress free to harvest. i just let mine dry on the vine as they say, up until the middle of september. then i plucked off all of the dried pods and threw them, by type, into brown paper bags. they can sit around like this all snug in their fall-looking pods until whenever the mood strikes you. you can do a lot at one time, or just enough for a meal. you can drink wine while you do it (my fave way) and listen to good tunes. you can tell your significant other that if he wants dinner he better get his paws on those pods, you can even have a bean shucking party. there are plenty of ways to get dem’ beans shucked, and no hurry to do it either – you have all winter! (unless of course you want to write a blog post about it and you need to find out your total yield and take photos).
so next season, grows some beans for winter! i know i am.