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General information and discussion about cultivating beans, peas, peanuts, clover and vetch.

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Old October 11, 2016   #1
MuddyToes
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Default My first year growing beans

I tried the following varieties this year:
Scarlet Emperor (did really poorly here, no beans. I didn't know runner beans needed to be started with the peas.)
French Garden filet bush type (did ok but wasn't what I was looking for)
Meraviglia Di Venezia Bean (Did pretty well in a ceramic pot)
Dragon Tongue (just now getting beans)
Good Mother Stollard (got a half pound of dried beans from 8 plants)
Chinese Mosaic Long (1st crop started in June got a blight early on, second crop started in mid-July is still producing. I like these very much.)
Dixie Speckled Butterpea (really prolific here, still getting beans. Delicious, too.)

After having decent success trying to figure out what likes and doesn't like Delaware heat and humidity, I'm looking forward to next spring. Does anyone have suggestions on what polebean varieties I might want to try next year? I like a nice fat bean. Stringless doesn't matter to me. I like to eat shellies and dried beans. I would like to try to make leather breeches.

I've already gotten seeds for Doc Martin's and King of the Garden since lima's do so well here.
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Old October 12, 2016   #2
weinerm
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If you want to try Leather Britches, you may want to take a look at Bill Best's list of Appalachian beans he sells: http://www.heirlooms.org. Bill only sells beans that stay tender even up to the point that they are full. His non-tough half-runner is a very good bean that I usually grow every year.
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Old October 12, 2016   #3
habitat_gardener
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Re leather britches:

A few years ago I dehydrated lots and lots of green beans -- mostly because I had great production coupled with limited kitchen access and could not eat them all raw. ALso, most of them were purple (Blue Coco) or otherwise nonstandard, which are difficult to donate (nobody wants them because they don't know what they are).

When they were freshly dried, I occasionally snacked on the dried beans.

I've found that they are easy to add to rice-lentil stews and the like, but best if broken into 1-inch pieces first, otherwise the stringiness of some varieties makes them hard to eat. I mixed all of the varieties (about 20) in the jars. I'd taken great care to dry them whole, and it takes a lot of energy to break them up! Probably I could use a blender or food processor, but I don't want bean powder.
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Old October 13, 2016   #4
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Did you let them air-dry or use a dehydrator? I have been using the dehydrator for tomatoes and peaches. DH dehydrates about half his peppers and freezes the rest. I've thought about using it for leather breeches but I didn't know if it would "cook" the beans or not.
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Old October 13, 2016   #5
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Wow! I am overwhelmed by the selection on his website. I'm from Appalachia (lived there for 30 some years). I'd love to try them all!!! But I only have space for a few dozen plants. I keep buying planters every time I see a sale to put more beans in ��. I'm trying to convince DH that I need to pull up more of his beloved grass. I think bean tepees are beautiful.
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Old October 13, 2016   #6
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Sorry, I'm new at this forum. The dehydrator question was for habitat gardener and the bean selection comment was a reply to weinerm.
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Old October 13, 2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuddyToes View Post
Did you let them air-dry or use a dehydrator? I have been using the dehydrator for tomatoes and peaches. DH dehydrates about half his peppers and freezes the rest. I've thought about using it for leather breeches but I didn't know if it would "cook" the beans or not.
Yes, I dehydrated the beans. My dehydrator is a simple on/off with no fan; it doesn't get too hot.
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Old October 18, 2016   #8
MuddyToes
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I can't wait to try that, habitat. I have the same kind of dehydrator, just on/off. Glad to hear it can be used for beans. I just dried some peaches in it last night. They were getting a little shriveled in the refrigerator so I peeled and sliced them, soaked them in lemon juice and sprinkled them with cinnamon. They came out really good, and smell nice, too. I've learned a lot about dehydrating from the dehydrating thread under "preserving the harvest" on this forum.
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Old October 18, 2016   #9
Cole_Robbie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weinerm View Post
If you want to try Leather Britches, you may want to take a look at Bill Best's list of Appalachian beans he sells: http://www.heirlooms.org.
Thanks for posting that link. He has a great web site.
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Old October 18, 2016   #10
weinerm
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Not a problem Cole_Robbie!
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Old December 19, 2016   #11
Tormato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuddyToes View Post
Wow! I am overwhelmed by the selection on his website. I'm from Appalachia (lived there for 30 some years). I'd love to try them all!!! But I only have space for a few dozen plants. I keep buying planters every time I see a sale to put more beans in ��. I'm trying to convince DH that I need to pull up more of his beloved grass. I think bean tepees are beautiful.

Well Muddy, are you able to pull up more of his beloved grass? I've got a mountain of bean varieties, here (bean, pea, legume swap), waiting for a new home.
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Old December 20, 2016   #12
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Well Muddy, are you able to pull up more of his beloved grass? I've got a mountain of bean varieties, here (bean, pea, legume swap), waiting for a new home.
Haha! Funny you should ask. He was just complaining this morning that the dog is killing the grass just in the exact spot where I wanted to expand my garden. I just laughed and said that makes my job easier.

And, last time I went to visit my mother, she generously sent me home with a trunk full of planters she could no longer use. So, indeed, I have big plans for beans in 2017!

I was also able to locate some little zip bags last weekend so I can send in my contribution. I will get them packed up and labeled tomorrow and off to the post office.

A mountain of bean varieties is music to my ears. As good as sleighbells! Doing the happy dance of joy.
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