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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

They'll be put to use


These are Buckskin bush beans, with what looks to be a few sports harking back to some kind of black bean. Risa found them at a sustainability fair two years ago, about 1/2 of a pint mason jar full, and they were advertised as drought resistant, so for two bucks she thought she would try them. They were tucked into the potato patch across the creek, and after a few initial waterings to see them through infancy, allowed only one watering every two weeks thereafter, with a deep mulch. Come fall, after the potato harvest, she lifted the "bushes" (they were very small plants) and wheelbarrowed them into the potting shed to be shelled later, and then was interrupted by a family emergency on the other end of the continent. A few days ago, she got round to shelling the beans -- which were in the pod for eight months! -- that might explain why some of those shown are rather shrivelly.
    There were some losses each time they were transported, as the pods like to split and dump their beans, like sweet peas. Nevertheless the end product, for very little labor, was a half gallon of dried beans that were not grown in the regular garden beds. She doesn't plan to repeat the experiment -- these beans seem intended for field use with some kind of harvester, and she prefers pole beans. But they'll be put to use sometime in chili or baked beans.

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