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, www.rosemary-ridge.blogspot.com ... thank you!

Dried Bean Varities

It should be fairly obvious from my last 3 days that I'm working on next year's garden. Ahhh.... I love looking at seed catalogs, and thinking about what to do differently next year.

Today it's about beans. Specifically, beans that can be eaten as fresh string beans, and also dried for storage. Even more specifically, tender, delicious, prolific heirloom bean seeds.

Suffice it to say that we planted lots of different kinds of beans, plus one kind that makes dried peas and one kind of green lentils. I started the peas too late so they didn't do well, and my goats ate the lentils. Ah well.

Next year we want to plant only two (2!!) dried beans: white for creamy dishes and my Kid's favorite pork-n-beans, and black because they are fun and hearty for chili. Here's what we are looking for in a dried bean...

- short growing season (90 days, but less is preferred)
- easy to grow
- good to eat as string beans AND dries well for storage
- high in fiber and protein, and tender
- white bean vines should grow well up a corn or sunflower stalk; prolific
- black bean bush with strong stems and hearty grower
- hardy for the weird weather in Colorado eastern plains
- good to keep for our critters (AND US) over winter
- good to grind into a powder/flour
- heirloom (non-gmo, and so we can save seeds to grow)

At the start of the summer, I came across a blog entry that led me to an heirloom bean seed saver and WOW! Check it out: http://www.heirlooms.org/catalog.html ... maybe I'll get my bean seeds from there. Anyone have experience with the "Big John Cornfield Bean" or the "Hill Family Greasy Bean"?

We also plan to grow more soy/edamame next year. I've already chosen those seeds. Since my Kid has a reaction to them, and they mess with my hormones, these are mostly for our critters for winter consumption. Also on our protein/legume list is more blue podded peas and green lentils... maybe we'll have better luck next year!

So ... about our bean list (1 white and 1 black) ... any suggestions? Comments?

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