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dry beans for square foot gardening?

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dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Feistywidget on October 30th 2011, 4:43 pm

I made a post about growing dry beans for container gardening. Is it even possible to get a good yield of dry beans using the SFG gardening method, or is it impossible and not practical?

It was suggested to me that if I was going to do this, I should use vertical gardening; however I've no clue what vertical gardening is, nor do I know how to implement it. The definition of vertical gardening and how to implement it, I would greatly appreciate information on both.

The varieties of beans I'd like to grow for dry beans are listed below (the types as well as the names of the seed varieties themselves)

*Cannellini (white kidney)
*Kidney Bean (dark red kidney bean)
*Pinto (Painted Pinto Bean)
*Black (Black Turtle or Valentine)
*Chickpea/Garbanzo

*Lima Bean (Fordhook 242 Bush)

*Azuki Bean (Azuki bean is an Asian red bean; it's commonly used in a ton of asian desserts; the dry bean is made into a sweet bean paste) (Late Tamba)

*Edamame (a Japanese green soy bean) (Early Hakucho)
*Cowpeas (California Blackeye)
*Cranberry Bean (Cranberry bush dry bean)


The one other thing I have a question about is converting conventional plot gardening numbers into how many plants this is the equivalent of with SFG.


Here is an example:

A person wants to grow 50 lbs of dry beans. They wanted to know how much space they would need to grow that amount of dry beans. A farmer told them 1220 feet.

With the 1220 feet, how many plants is the equivalent of this? I mean with container gardening, giving me information like that makes absolutely no sense. I need to know the quantity of plants that would be the equivalent of the measurement given.

They also recommended the use of pole beans for dry beans in square foot gardening.

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Lavender Debs on October 30th 2011, 5:35 pm

I tried a few new protein plants. Fava Beans in spring and both Garbanzo Beans and Cranberry Beans.

I've never had Fava Beans before this year. They are fabulous! I did not think to measure how much I got from the Fava's. From 4 squares we had about 4 meals. I'll plant them again.

I live in Western Washington. Our season is short. Black Garbanzo beans might have had a chance in a better season. June and July were cold and wet here. The heat of August did not last long enough to finish the garbanzos. I may try again next year. Of 4 squares planted only one plant made it to September.

The best dry bean was a local heirloom cranberry bean known as Rockwell. It made a beautiful harvest of beans. I only put in one square of Rockwells (9 seeds) which yielded 4 and 1/2 ounces. Apparently that would be 3 squares to yeild a bit over a pound of beans (you do the rest of the math.)

I will plant a lot more Rockwells next year, but not 50 pounds worth!


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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  boffer on October 30th 2011, 5:39 pm

Vertical gardening means growing your plants up trellises. You can get a greater yield per space used. You'll find a lot of information about vertical gardening in the ALL NEW SFG book.

To convert to planting in a square, use the spacing for seed planting in a row.
For instance, if you're instructed to plant a seed every 4 inches in a row, then you would plant 9 seeds per square. Here's a simple chart to get you started:

1 every 12 inches: 1 per sf
1 every 6 inches: 4 per sf
1 every 4 inches: 9 per sf
1 every 3 inches: 16 per sf

More information about spacing can be found in the book.





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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Chopper on October 30th 2011, 7:08 pm

This is the reference I use. And for more about vertical gardening see the book.



Here are
examples of what can be planted in each square foot:
16 carrots or radishes, onion (or 9)
9 onions,
beets, peas, garlic, spinach. bush beans, pole beans
4 lettuce, chard, marigolds, or kohlrabi, strawberries,
1 tomato, pepper(try 2 next time), eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, or corn,
cabbage, celery, potato
1 squash, or melon per 2 sq.ft. (or 3ft space – zucchini)
2 cucumbers
-or-



1 per square
foot: plants that are thinned or planted 12 inches apart.


4 per square
foot: plants that are thinned or planted 6 inches apart.


9 per square
foot: plants that are thinned or planted 4 inches apart.


16 per
square foot: plants that are thinned or planted 3 inches apart.
Vertical gardening is what pole beans have always done - grow vertically. Most people create a PVC or other frame and put nylon netting on it. That is what I use on the north side of several of my boxes.

For your purposes and volume you will have to have quite a few boxes, but it should be easy enough to do. Are you the one who eats only from their garden? If so, you would expect to have to have quite a few boxes anyway. It is certainly doable in an SFG and I would not want to do it any other way. Just plan for volume.

And if you plant 1220 feet at three seeds per foot the it is 3660 seeds. At 9 seeds per sf in SFG that is 406 squares. And that is how I would figure it.



Here is a pic of a very simple vertical structure.


There are a dozen different ways to do it, I am sure you can think of something practical for your uses.

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on October 30th 2011, 9:22 pm

hey Chopper, is that white fence around that box for decorative purposes or are they there to keep out rabbits and such?

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Cincinnati on October 30th 2011, 10:09 pm

@Chopper wrote:... Just plan for volume.

And if you plant 1220 feet at three seeds per foot the it is 3660 seeds. At 9 seeds per sf in SFG that is 406 squares.

Whoa! You need a box 4ft wide by just over 100ft long. That's 200 cu ft of mel's mix just to grow dried beans. Them thar beans are going to be expensive.

OK, I just realized I overlooked that this is a hypothetical scenario. Since I'm this far into a reply: My solution would be to get that in two growing seasons per year. That essentially cuts the space in half.

This example does show you have to be serious about gardening to feed a family of 5 for the entire year. Without doing extensive calculations, I can see that 50 boxes or more could easily be required to eliminate purchasing from the grocery.

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  littlejo on October 31st 2011, 12:20 am

Can you eat the green part of a dry bean plant? If you can, then you could take the green part and make french style green beans, and set the seeds aside to dry, making 2 crops at once.

cinncinati: I have 8 4x8 beds and have bought nothing but some lettuce in the hottest part of the summer and fed 2 folks all we could eat and put some up for winter. I saved lots from having the SFG. I've never tried dried beans, but to get organic, I guess I'll have to try next yr.

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Cincinnati on October 31st 2011, 9:12 am

@littlejo wrote:Can you eat the green part of a dry bean plant? If you can, then you could take the green part and make french style green beans, and set the seeds aside to dry, making 2 crops at once.

cinncinati: I have 8 4x8 beds and have bought nothing but some lettuce in the hottest part of the summer and fed 2 folks all we could eat and put some up for winter. I saved lots from having the SFG. I've never tried dried beans, but to get organic, I guess I'll have to try next yr.

littlejo, I have never heard that the bean plant itself is edible. Although the very young bean plant (as a sprout) is edible. Or are you speaking about the pods?

Congrats on your SQFT 8! (or maybe SQ 8! —Hey, that just became my new name for a homemade garden soup — and/or vegetable drink). How many months of food for 2 did you get from those 8 beds? How much did you put up? Did you can, dehydrate, or freeze?

I have a family of 5 and I want to get to a point of having enough garden to feed us for the year, running out about the time the new garden is ready. I have an added benefit of having several growing seasons a year here in lower Alabama.

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Feistywidget on October 31st 2011, 7:08 pm

NOTE: With the numerical aspect of this, I'm horrible with math, so I could really use help with that aspect, ESPECIALLY with how many seeds I need to plant to get a yield of 25 lbs. of dry beans.

Well for starters, with growing the dry beans, it would just be for myself. How many pounds of dry beans (by weight) would be sufficient? I realize this is really subjective, as it depends on how often you eat beans. I could really use guidelines as to how many lbs. of dry beans to plant per person; like I said, it would just be for myself.

I found this on a site that it recommended for a year's worth of dry beans, you should have 60 lbs. per person. However this is under the assumption that you eat beans everyday. Although they're a staple in my diet, I don't eat them daily.

If you're going to plant 60 lbs. worth of dry beans, well how much would you plant? I know how much to plant for 50 lbs. of dry beans, but how many squares would you need, and how many seeds for 10 lbs. of dry beans? As I said before, I'm extremely bad with math.

However is this just under the assumption that it's if you eat beans everyday? Because while beans are a staple in my diet, I don't eat them all the time.

The ones I'd use the most out of the list I gave are the black beans, azuki (Asian red bean), cranberry, cannellini and edamame (green soy bean).


I'd like to be able to plant enough seeds to get 25 lbs. of dry beans of the varieties listed above.

Now according to what you said with how much you have to plant to get 50 lbs. of dry beans......


And if you plant 1220 feet at three seeds per foot the it is 3660 seeds. At 9 seeds per sf in SFG that is 406 squares.

I'm assuming for 25 pounds of dry beans you would need in a conventional plot 610 feet. With square foot gardening that translates out to 203 squares, and you'd need
and 1830. With all of the figures given for what I gave with how much you'd need to plant with dry beans (how many seeds, and how many squares) is my math correct?

Mind you this is all hypothetical.

The other question I had is the the figures you gave for how many seeds you'd need to plant for 50 lbs. of dry beans, is this for pole beans?

Is it really just more practical to get a good yield of dry beans to use vertical gardening combined with growing pole beans as opposed to growing bush bean varieties for dry beans?

The other question I had is in order to get 25 lbs. of dry beans well with seeds, are you going to have to plant twice as many seeds to get that yield? Basically, if I want my yield to be 25 lbs. of dry beans, then would I have to plant 50 lbs. worth of dry beans with the seeds?

That is, 3660 seeds planted even though I only need 25 lbs. of dry beans? I honestly don't know, I am extremely bad with math, so I could use clarification with this.

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  littlejo on October 31st 2011, 8:22 pm

I really don't think bush beans put on as much as they claim. I tried this with regular green beans and will plant pole style from now on. As far as how much to plant, I would only plant 2 squares deep with something (trelllis or fence)to grow on. I don't do math very well either, so at 9 per square, 2 deep in an 8 ft bed, 144 plants per bed. I would guess that each plant would produce 4 to 6 ounces per plant, dry. That's 36 pounds if they put on 4 ounces dried. That seems like a lot, but in order to get them to produce good, you would have to pick a little along until the plants start producing well, then let them mature and be ready to dry.


I got interested about the dry beans, since I am begining to want only organic. My hubby and I feel better this year and part of it may be the lower pesticide residue on our food.
I googled them and pintos can be used like green bean before they are dried. Cranberry beans(if you can locate any, none in stores here) can be grown and will produce beans in a pot in the house. I like the flavor of cranberry beans. I will put my garden results in another thread in a minute. Jo

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Chopper on October 31st 2011, 8:58 pm

@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:hey Chopper, is that white fence around that box for decorative purposes or are they there to keep out rabbits and such?

It was for dogs. They could get over it, but usually they didn't.

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Chopper on October 31st 2011, 9:06 pm

@Feistywidget wrote:ESPECIALLY with how many seeds I need to plant to get a yield of 25 lbs. of dry beans.

You gave constant that a 1220 foot row would yeild 50 pounds of beans. Whether bush or pole I do not know. You'd have to ask the farmer again.

Bush beans were developed for uniform and easy harvest so for your purposes I would go for bush.

That said, you do not get a lot of bang for your buck with dried beans. That is why few people do them in a home garden. But if you are determined and you want to do this then here you go - accept and go with it. As time goes on you will discover whether you need more or less.

Per your numbers and for 25 pounds of beans then you would need 203 squares.

203 squares/16 (number of squares in a standard 4X4 box) = 12.68 or say 13 boxes. Not horrible if you have the room. If you are using 4X8 foot boxes then it would be 7 boxes if you round up. So there is your answer. You need thirteen 4X4 boxes of bush beans to get 25 pounds. So 50 pounds is 26 boxes and 60 pounds you have to figure out yourself. (hint - about 5 boxes per 10 pounds)

Now you know what you are looking at. If you have the room, it should be no problem.


OK, so now yyou know that for 25 pounds you need 203 squares. You plant 9 plants per square so 9*203= 1827. And that is assuming they all germinate and none are eaten by snails (ask me why I mention that...). So figure 2000 seeds per 25 pounds or 800 seeds per 10 pounds of dried beans.

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Cincinnati on November 1st 2011, 2:06 am

@Feistywidget wrote:ESPECIALLY with how many seeds I need to plant to get a yield of 25 lbs. of dry beans.
We have gotten way off base on our assumptions and calculations.

@Chopper wrote:You gave constant that a 1220 foot row would yield 50 pounds of beans.

...Per your numbers and for 25 pounds of beans (Harvested) then you would need 203 squares.

...or say 13 boxes. ...You need thirteen 4X4 boxes of bush beans to get 25 pounds. So 50 pounds is 26 boxes...

...You plant 9 plants per square so 9*203= 1827 (beans or plants).

... figure 2000 seeds per 25 pounds or 800 seeds per 10 pounds of dried beans.

I challenge the assumption that a 1220 foot row is required to harvest 50# of dried beans. Not that I remember how much produce I got from my bush beans. But the numbers in the squares don't compute.

If 1827 plants produce only 25# of beans, that is only a mere 0.014 pounds/plant or .22 ounces harvested per entire bean plant.

I am going to speculate now: I remember getting a dozen (maybe up to two dozen) pods per plant and 6-8 beans per pod minimum. So 1 plant easily generates about 100 beans — which is a 100:1 yield by count. So for every pound of beans planted you would get 100# of harvest.

Therefore, to harvest 25# of beans you'd plant about 0.25 pounds. If I would only get 50 beans per plant, that is a 50:1 yield or 1/2 pound of seed to harvest 25# of beans.

WHEW!

SO I recommend that you weigh out 1/4 pound of dried beans and count them. I think you'd be better off estimating how many pods per plant and number of beans per pod to estimate your yield than to use the assumption that you need a 1220 ft row to harvest 50# of dried beans.

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Kelejan on November 1st 2011, 2:57 am

Reading this thread, my mind is spinning with all the figures. Seems to me that producing these beans is going to be very expensive to set up all these beds just to produce dried beans.

What I suggest is plant one 4x4 box with beans, look after them, then at the end of the season weigh how many pounds you have produced for the cost of the seeds you planted. Compare that with buying that amount in the store.

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Chopper on November 1st 2011, 6:08 am

@Cincinnati wrote:
I challenge the assumption that a 1220 foot row is required to harvest 50# of dried beans.

That was a quote given to him by a farmer and everything I figured came from that assumption, which I have no idea if it correct or not. I stand by my figures based on that original constant.

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Icemaiden on November 1st 2011, 6:18 am

@Chopper wrote: I stand by my figures based on that original constant.

Should the 203 be 208?

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Cincinnati on November 1st 2011, 10:58 am

Feisty WIdget wrote:Basically, if I want my yield to be 25 lbs. of dry beans, then would I have to plant 50 lbs. worth of dry beans with the seeds?

You asked this in your second reply in this thread. This can't be true because the beans would go extinct if you had to plant 2 lbs of beans to get one lb of beans in the harvest.

@Chopper wrote:I stand by my figures based on that original constant.

I don't question Chopper's math, Just what it is based on. Are there other gardeners here that also conclude if that assumption were correct, each bean plant would only produce less than 1/4 ounce of harvest? Or am I the one overlooking something obvious?

Sufficient to say, you would be wise before planting 13 boxes of beans to do a little more thinking on the question of how many beans do you plant to get a specific harvest. FYI — I found a picture of a bush bean plant that had 7 beans in one pod and 15 pods in one cluster. So I know 100 beans per plant is very conservative.

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Icemaiden on November 1st 2011, 12:32 pm

It says here http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cornucop/msg110913359228.html

number bean plants need to produce 1 lb dried beans:
kidney beans 25 -167 plants per lb
mung beans 50 - 334 plants per lb
white Mexican beans 25-167 plants per lb
red Mexican beans 25-167 plants per lb
pinto beans 25-167 plants per lb


My veg book says about 500 kidney beans per lb.

So if you get 500 kidney bean plants from a lb of beans, they would give you between 3 and 20 lbs of dried beans as harvest.

So I make it a rough estimate that you buy 1 lb of beans, sow in 56 squares, and harvest perhaps 10 lbs.

That doesn't seem a very good use of the space Smile

(If you ate them all as green beans then it would be 960 lbs of green beans)

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Lavender Debs on November 1st 2011, 12:59 pm

Wow, this is getting nuts! (or is that full of hot air?)

My Rockwell Cranberry beans do not come in pole (high rise), just bush. If I just use my personal yield for one square.....

9 beans (1 square or 3 row feet) yields 4.5 ounces.

36 beans should yield about a pound of Rockwell’s (cranberry)

It should take about 1 and a third pounds of bean seed (at 80% germination) to yield 25 pounds of beans.

One 4x4 garden will take 144 seeds (almost 3 ounces) and should yield about 4 1/2 lbs.

That would be about six 4x4 gardens + 4 more squares in a 7th garden for 25 lbs of Rockwell cranberry beans.

OR you could just go to Whidbey Island on the Washington state coast and buy beans to support the farmers wives who have been saving this yummy bean for years.

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Cincinnati on November 1st 2011, 2:34 pm

WOW! I think I'm going to buy my dried beans in 5 gal buckets and raise my other vegies.

ND State Univ Agriculture website: wrote:

Average Number of
Seeds per Pound
--------------------------------------
Kidneys 900-1000
Pintos 1400
Great Northerns 1600-1800
Pinks/Small Reds 1600-2000
Navies/Blacks 3000
--------------------------------------

and

Seeds per pound can vary 10-20% for different varieties within a bean class. If available, use reported estimates for seed number per pound for your variety.

The accuracy of yield estimate can be improved by counting seeds and pods from at least 10 plants per replication.

Apparently there is a great disparity in what sources claim as yield for dried beans. I do not raise beans for drying. But in the upcoming season, I'll analyze my bean production in my few square feet, and know an average if I were going to dry them.

I'm betting our mathematical analysis is boring a lot of gardeners, but it has been a fun thread.


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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Feistywidget on November 1st 2011, 6:49 pm

I am extremely confused now! In order to figure out the yield of dry
beans, people keep referring to pounds! What kind of pounds? !

The one thing I did want to ask is if I chose to grow the varieties of beans I listed, fresh, that is just shelled out of the pod, then would my yield be greater than dried beans?

Basically what I'm asking is for shelled fresh beans out of the pod, do you get more of a yield in comparison to dried beans? If that's the case, then would it be worth my while (with time, effort, growing, space used, SFG boxes used, etc.) to grow the varieties of beans I listed fresh shelled rather than dried? I honestly don't know, that's why I'm asking.

I'm very confused about something Cicinnati said and it's this.....They said for every 1 lb. of bean seed you plant, you get a yield of 100. Is this 100 beans shelled from the pod, or 100 lbs. of dry bean?

However on the other hand, I have this other formal from somebody else who posted on this thread about it.....

And that is.....

for 25 lbs. of dry beans, plant 1/2 lb. of seed.

Will this formula work for all the types of beans I listed, and will I
get roughly the same yield for all the beans listed using this formula?


Just to clarify supposedly to get 25 lbs. of dry beans, I'd need to plant 1/2 lb. of seed?

Regarding the edamame, unfortunately I made a mistake with saying I'd
like dry beans with it. I would just harvest and shell it, and then
freeze it.

I don't really care which type of bean I grow, pole or bush. However, will
using pole bean varieties of the beans I mentioned in combination with
vertical gardening, maximize my yield and make it more feasible and
practical to grow dry beans?

The other question I had is, if I'm going to plant all the varieties I
listed, then I'm going to assume that for 25 lbs. of dry beans since
it's 13 4 x 4 SFG boxes, then since I have basically have 4 varieties I'd like to grow out of the ones I listed, it would be a total of 52 4 x 4 SFG boxes? ( 4 varieties x 13 boxes for each variety=52)

Given that, this means if I have to plant 1/2 lb. of seed to get 25 lbs. of dry beans, that means for all four varieties I'd need to plant 2 lbs. total of dry seed (1/2 lb. for each variety)

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Re: dry beans for square foot gardening?

Post  Cincinnati on November 1st 2011, 9:31 pm

@Feistywidget wrote:I am extremely confused now!


Didn't intend to confuse you, but I understand. Forget about the 1/2 pound of seed to get 25 # of dried beans.

Here's my simple solution. I would buy a 42 pound bucket of organic beans. Here's where I buy mine. This would last almost two years at the consumption rate you specified.

http://www.breadbeckers.com/store/pc/Great-Northern-Beans-ORGANIC-42lbs-6-gal-Bckt-224p2693.htm

I'm not meaning to be a wise guy here. If you eat 1/2 # of dried beans per week, this bucket would last 84 weeks - over a year and a half. Even with shipping, that 's about $1.25/week for organic, clean, dried beans.

If you truly want to grow your own, just purchase a few 7# bags to carry you until harvest. In the meantime, plant a box of each style and see what yield you get. It can vary greatly with a lot of factors, and as you can see, several people have opinions that vary greatly on yield.

As far as my advice and assumptions:

Pounds that I am referring to are 16 oz on the scale of dried beans.

You plant one bean and it germinates into a plant that produces some quantity of pods with some number of beans in each pod.

I believe with my bush beans from last spring, I got an average of about 15 pods per plant with maybe 6 or 7 beans in each pod. That is roughly 100 beans that will eventually be dried beans on each plant. If for every bean I plant, my harvest is 100 dried beans, then my ratio for that bean is 100:1.

So:

If I plant 1 pound of beans, I should expect 100 pounds at the harvest.
If I plant 1 cup, I should expect 100 cups at the harvest.
If I plant 1 bag, I should expect 100 of those bags at the harvest.
If I plant 1 handful, I should expect 100 handfuls at the harvest.

This ratio will vary depending on the variety of bean. If it's a 50:1 ratio for another type of bean then change those "100" numbers to "50".

This is the method suggested by the NDSU agriculture website I quoted earlier for estimating your harvest.

Beans are dried to preserve them either for eating or for seed for next season. Fresh shelled beans weigh more than when they are dried. The difference will be the weight of the moisture removed in the drying process.





Cincinnati

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