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More Bean Minutiae

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More Bean Minutiae

Post  Chopper on 7/6/2010, 9:11 pm

Since I never grew dried beans before, I have obviously been a little behind the curve. On my black bean bushes, I saw there were some pods that had gone brown. So I picked one and one that was only partially brown.

Well, the brown one had 4 beautiful black beans and in the other were 4 white, turning to black, beans. Lesson learned. I am excited now.



Here are all the beans I picked together. I picked another pod too and it was not quite as black as the first - another area in my life that requires patience, a gift I never got.



Also, my bell peppers look suspiciously like Anaheims. Hmmmm. Could Lowes have mismarked? Geeesh - absolutely.


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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  jenjehle on 7/6/2010, 11:01 pm

I grew black beans last year b/c they're my fav kind of bean!! But I swore I'd never do it again. For all the plants, a fair amount of pods but not a substantial harvest in the end, it was pretty disappointing. For every pod only having 4-6 beans in it, I can't even imagine how many it would take to get just one serving of black beans. Not to mention I have a family of seven. Totally not worth my time or space in my garden.

Fun though.... sorry to be a downer.

Anyway, my pods had the same combo; a few white/unfinished beans along with finished beans that were black.

Hope you are able to harvest enough for a couple of servings, at least!

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  Chopper on 7/6/2010, 11:25 pm

I am so far over the bend I was thinking of building some 4X8 beds and dedicating each one to a staple (starch) crop and rotate them: black beans, corn, lentils, and potatoes. LOL. I do believe I may need an intervention.

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  Megan on 7/7/2010, 4:13 am

Do all black bean pods turn brown when ready? My pole beans have dozens of flowers... I can't wait!

And, Chopper, I was giving some serious thought to chickpeas (garbonzos) until I read that they have only 2-3 per pod. Sounds like a lot of work. It's probably just as well I don't have room for much more!

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  Chopper on 7/7/2010, 4:42 am

@Megan wrote:Do all black bean pods turn brown when ready? ....

And, Chopper, I was giving some serious thought to chickpeas (garbonzos) until I read that they have only 2-3 per pod. Sounds like a lot of work. It's probably just as well I don't have room for much more!

That is my conclusion. Wait until the pod is entirely brown.

I am seriously thinking about my 4X8s. That would make it worth it. Shelling is a mindless activity that can be done while watching TV and since I don't knit or anything I am game.

I am really trying to make a backyard suburban garden work as a main food source. So far it would make a better diet. LOL.

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  LaFee on 7/7/2010, 5:46 am

Maybe I'm the odd one out, but I figure that dried beans are so cheap and so easy to find, that I'd rather spend my time and energy growing stuff that's tasty and much better fresh from the garden than from the store.

(I kind of figure that dried beans are dried beans, within reason)

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  silverbug on 7/7/2010, 7:48 am

While super cool to see, and it's very exciting from an observation stand point, I completely agree with Lafee on the dried bean front. Doesn't mean that you shouldn't enjoy them. I've just read that exact same sentiment so many times, and from what you all are saying, it'd take up VAST amounts of room to get the equivelant of a $1 bag of beans at the store.

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  jenjehle on 7/7/2010, 8:07 am

@LaFee wrote:Maybe I'm the odd one out, but I figure that dried beans are so cheap and so easy to find, that I'd rather spend my time and energy growing stuff that's tasty and much better fresh from the garden than from the store.

(I kind of figure that dried beans are dried beans, within reason)


Yes! In my post above, that's what I decided after trying black beans. They are so inexpensive to buy that I'm not going to use my precious space in my garden for something that doesn't produce anything close to what my family of seven would need for even ONE MEAL!

My plan this year was to only plant things that we eat a lot of, are more expensive to buy in the store and don't take up an entire section in my garden.

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  Jay Bird on 7/7/2010, 9:22 am

Beans Beans the musical fruit
the more you eat
the more you toot
the more you toot the better you feel
so eat some beans with every meal

We didicated 192 sqaures to purple hull peas,, They are almost finished up now and this weekend I will be pulling them up and replanting with more purple hulls. The purple hulls are selling any where from $18 to $32 dollars a bushel shelled, thats a large gallon size kitchen freexer bag full of peas,
We dont sell our peas because I am a selfish gardener and want them for myself.
The peas freeze very well and keep into winter, I dont know how long they keep because we never have any past november or so. I also replanted peas in my tater box 4'x4' entirely peas.

Just my 2 peas worth

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  LaFee on 7/7/2010, 9:25 am

Yike. That's a LOT of squares.

I don't even have ROOM for 192 squares, let alone anything resembling a desire to look after them.

I'm thinking I'm getting ambitious by thinking hard about having another 32 next year, which would bring my total to 64.

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  Jay Bird on 7/7/2010, 9:39 am

We have 560 sqaures and plan on doubling it next year,, But the SFG method is so easy, It takes two of us 30 minutes a day now to harvest and tend,, not counting watering but we havent had to water for a couple weeks,, the rain has come at the most oppurtune times.

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More Bean Minutiae

Post  Mom2Four on 7/7/2010, 10:05 am

Dried beans might not be worth it but fresh shelled beans most definitely would! We used to get fresh shelled beans at a farmers market near our home in South Carolina. Yum! We can't even buy them here near San Diego and I'm planning some 4 x 8 beds just for them. They freeze well too, but they are best FRESH

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  jenjehle on 7/7/2010, 12:49 pm

@Mom2Four wrote:Dried beans might not be worth it but fresh shelled beans most definitely would! We used to get fresh shelled beans at a farmers market near our home in South Carolina. Yum! We can't even buy them here near San Diego and I'm planning some 4 x 8 beds just for them. They freeze well too, but they are best FRESH


I'm getting confused... what is a fresh shelled bean? This thread is hopping around on different types of beans/peas! I'm not sure at this point if we're talking about black beans any more or green peas?

Sorry, I'm low on sleep

(Not sure about anyone else, but it's not dark until about 9:45pm around here in NE Indiana! My kids simply can't fall asleep until 10:30pm or so! It's driving me crazy b/c they're tired the next day and I stayed up too late trying to do MY things I like to do after the kids are in bed. I find myself kind of wanting some winter weather just so I can get my kids to go to bed at a decent time!!! UGH!)

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  Mom2Four on 7/7/2010, 2:23 pm

The fresh shelled beans I'm referring to are the same beans you would buy dried. You pick them when the pods are bulging but not yet dry, shell them and cook them. They cannot be eaten raw but need to be simmered for @30 minutes.

We used to buy fresh black eyed peas, butter beans and cowpeas but I think you can eat any bean this way (not positive about that but I don't see why not). They have a flavor that the dry cannot duplicate. So good!

Hope that clarifies.

Ellen

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  Retired Member 1 on 7/7/2010, 2:47 pm

I echo what Ellen said. And the "southern" peas we are talking about are very much like beans -- mostly eaten dried. What I love to do is harvest purple hulls when half the peas are still really green and snap them like green beans, and the other half partially dried to shell. Both mixed together are wonderful. So much better than dried peas or beans bought in the store.

Blackeyed or purple hulls are so popular here that when the veggie and fruit store in the neighbouring town has them, they put an ad in the paper. They shell them half-done, and also have the younger snap peas as well. Folks come from miles around and line up to get them.

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  Mom2Four on 7/7/2010, 3:36 pm

I was curious whether you really can eat any bean as a fresh shelled bean. The answer I found is, yes!

Here's a quote and the link where I found it:

"Almost any bean destined to be eaten dried can also be eaten fresh, but usually only five or six shelling bean varieties make it to the fresh market, and they are not always easy to find. "

http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-08-06/food/17123318_1_cranberry-beans-haricot-white-kidney

Now I really really want another 4 x 8 to dedicate to this yummy pursuit!

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  Jay Bird on 7/7/2010, 3:49 pm

Nothing more tasty than fresh purple hulls in their own dark grey gravy with some salt pepper and either home made salsa or hot red tomato relish,,,,

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  jenjehle on 7/7/2010, 5:24 pm

Ok, it's becoming uncomfortably clear to me that I'm a "northern girl". Grew up here in NE Indiana and I've never heard of anything like this. It all sounds like Greek to me Smile Never seen a purpled hulled beans. Now I'm curious though and I think I'll do some web searching/reading.

Thanks for the lesson in beans! The black beans are the best! I buy a pound or two dried and cook them up in large batches and make my own black bean refried beans! My kids love them and they're healthier that regular pinto beans!

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  Megan on 7/7/2010, 6:09 pm

@jenjehle wrote:Ok, it's becoming uncomfortably clear to me that I'm a "northern girl". Grew up here in NE Indiana and I've never heard of anything like this. It all sounds like Greek to me Smile

Hey jenjehle! I'm another northern girl. Ander217 and others have been educating me in another thread. They are talking about cowpeas / field peas. I'd never heard of cowpeas persay, though I did know what blackeye peas were. What a fun new thing to learn about. I am looking forward to trying some purple hulls next year!


Last edited by Megan on 7/7/2010, 6:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  LaFee on 7/7/2010, 6:18 pm

Hi, Jenjehle -- I'm not only a northerner by birth, but I'm from your backyard! (I grew up listening to Bob Siever and the Little Red Barn on WOWO 1190 radio...how's THAT for local? And I eat my ham and beans over cornbread - you mean there's any other way? - followed by a fat slice of sugar cream pie made by somebody named Yoder or Zurcher.)

I lived in the South from the time I was 16, though, so I can translate --

No, we don't eat beans fresh in the north like "they-all" are talking about. But give fresh lima beans a try sometime -- they're nothing at all like the bullet-like frozen monstrosities they pile on your plate at school. Butter beans, crowder peas, and conk peas are all really good Southern varieties, too...You'd have to check the growing conditions on them -- I've never seen them up north, so I don't know if the growing season is long enough to give you a decent crop there in FTW or not.

I grew fresh garden peas this year, and they were scrumptious -- what you and I grew up knowing as English peas. Sooo much better than what you buy in the grocery store -- sweet and delicious, even raw right out of the pods.

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  Chopper on 7/7/2010, 6:19 pm

@Mom2Four wrote:Dried beans might not be worth it but fresh shelled beans most definitely would! We used to get fresh shelled beans at a farmers market near our home in South Carolina. Yum! We can't even buy them here near San Diego and I'm planning some 4 x 8 beds just for them. They freeze well too, but they are best FRESH

Exactly! I am going to give them their own dedicated space next season.

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  jenjehle on 7/7/2010, 8:43 pm

@Megan wrote:
@jenjehle wrote:Ok, it's becoming uncomfortably clear to me that I'm a "northern girl". Grew up here in NE Indiana and I've never heard of anything like this. It all sounds like Greek to me Smile

Hey jenjehle! I'm another northern girl. Ander217 and others have been educating me in another thread. They are talking about cowpeas / field peas. I'd never heard of cowpeas persay, though I did know what blackeye peas were. What a fun new thing to learn about. I am looking forward to trying some purple hulls next year!

LaFee and Megan,

I grew sugar snap peas last year but they also didn't produce all that much. I think I gave them about 4 squares on the NE corner of one of my boxes. They were fab... what we had of them. My kids ate them right off the vine! If I ever had more room, as in a bigger yard, I probably wouldn't mind trying all kinds of different beans, or was it peas? Smile Last year I also tried bush beans but they did ok, tasted wonderful (but not enough for my big family!) This year I'm doing pole beans b/c someone in another thread suggested that I'd get more of a harvest.

My kids LOVE pickling cucumbers so I do lots of them! Talk about much better grown fresh! YUM!

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  Megan on 7/7/2010, 8:53 pm

I have some English/garden peas going this year...nothing harvested yet (July already!!) and not going to be many, but it's going to be a happy mouthful at the very least! And I can't wait for the first cuke... which seems to be inflating slowly from one end and changing color & losing its spikes as it does so. What a weirdly delightful plant! Smile

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  sceleste54 on 7/7/2010, 11:14 pm

My dear hubby finally constructed me two 2X8 beds this year... I'm lobbying for 2 more... little does he know that in the summer I will be growing field peas in two beds at least..(he doesn't eat any kind of peas... backward person !!) Cooked with some bacon they are one of the finer things in life...Smile

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

Post  Chopper on 7/7/2010, 11:25 pm

I am very excited about beans for next season. Blackeyed peas are the same as cowpeas I believe(?) - both of which look like beans to me. Black beans and... Woohoo.

I may have to raise pigs too or buy one at the Fair to be butchered so I have something to go with the beans!

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Re: More Bean Minutiae

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