My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, ... thank you!

Home-Grown Beans

I tell ya... dried beans can last a really long time! I was going through some stuff day before yesterday and found the black turtle beans that we grew in the Summer of 2008. About half were still in their shell. I thought: well, I told Hubby I would make some bean soup this week, so.... I had the Kid finish shelling the black beans. Very easy to do. Nature takes care of some of it (I'll explain in a minute), so he didn't have much to do. Opened the dry pod, and brushed the seeds into a bowl with his finger. By the time he was done, I had about a cup of beans.

Combining the black beans with white navy beans to soak is NOT a good idea. The white beans, some of them anyway, turn a bluish-blackish color. Not pretty.

I placed them (the white and black beans) in a crockpot with water and started them cooking on low. About 2 hours before dinner, I added half a cup of amaranth, a small can of tomato paste, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 a pound of diced bacon. Couple dashes of onion and garlic powder, and crockpot kept on low. Couple hours later... yum! The Kid even ate them, mostly because of the bacon but partly because he helped to shell the beans.

We had never grown much less harvested beans before so 2008 was our first time. Quite an experience. I had planted them in front of the house in the flower bed, and almost every time we left the house, we'd grab a couple of pods and eat the beans from the pods. Until one day we noticed the pods were beginning to dry up a little and the bean-seeds were starting to change shape and color. We stopped eating them (got a little tough!) and kept an eye on them. One day we noticed a couple of pods had dried so much that they cracked, scattering black turtle beans on the flower bed! Huh? The Kid and I grabbed a collander and collected all of the now-dried bean pods, and what few bean-seeds we could find on the ground. Inside the house, I placed the collander on the dining room table and went off to collect some juicy tomatoes and other veggies that were ripe. Back inside I started preparing a tomato for a snack when I heard a clattering from the dining room table. Put down the tomato, went to the table and didn't see anything. Later, I was in the living room helping the Kid with schoolwork when we heard it again. Ta da! Figured out what it was! The pods were drying more in the collander, and as they did so, they split, throwing seeds every which way! I gathered up the ones I could find (even as far as a room over), put them back in the collander, and placed a dish-towel over it.

Just keep in mind... when you harvest beans dryed on the stalk, be careful to not leave them too long or you'll need to spend time on your knees, trying to find them in the dirt. Bring them inside and put them in an enclosed place (collander with a top works fine).

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Can hardly wait for this coming year. We're doing 5 different kinds of beans, plus some peas to use as split peas. Want to find some lentils too. Yep, it's about this time every year that my hands get itchin' to get planting'. Yours?


ManFort said...

hmmm .. could you chuck these in a canning jar and grow sprouts from them ..


Vikki said...

manfort: which ones? i mean, i don't sprout very often, but the black turtle beans... they might be a bit too hard. i wish i knew. anybody? vikki