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Suburban Prepping at our Chateau

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  • Mon, Oct 16, 2017 - 07:02am

    #11
    David Allan

    David Allan

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    A couple of thoughts

Have you tried growing drying beans? We just let the pods dry out on the vine then pick and shell them. All you need is a pest proof container for storage – no preserving required. Many varieties are also good as green (pod) beans and fresh shellout so you get 3 hits at the same crop.

You'll need to do more seed saving at some point. Many seeds are quite easy to save but some are a bit tricky. I'll never be able to save carrot seed for example, as we have carrot weed everywhere which cross-pollenates with my carrots. And brassicas like broccoli need quite large numbers of flowering plants to give long term genetic stability. 'Seed to Seed' by Suzanne Ashworth is a great resource.

Another book for your library, if you don't have it is The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe. This focuses on growing the staples potatoes, beans, corn, squash in emergency conditions. Like you I don't read all of every book when I get it – but it is good to have the knowledge available for when you need it.

By the way I use straw too and have done so for several years. There are no bad side effects except the germination of a few embedded seeds – easy to pull out. A positive side effect is that the straw eventually breaks down and increases the organic content of the soil. My experience anyway.

  • Mon, Oct 16, 2017 - 04:24pm

    #12

    sand_puppy

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    Drying Beans? What is this, David Allen

Can you point us to a specific plant?  Maybe a link to a seed company or pictures?

  • Tue, Oct 17, 2017 - 07:00am

    #13
    David Allan

    David Allan

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    Beans

Sand Puppy you're really going to have to start spelling my name rightsmiley. Or maybe I should just get myself a pseudonym too, as seems to be the fashion 😉

Drying beans are simply beans that dry and store particularly well. One of my favorite varieties is an American Indian bean I know as Gila Beans.  Another favourite is Borlotti Stoppa. Some are climbing beans, some are dwarf. You just need to soak them for 24 hours or at least overnight before cooking them – like chickpeas. I'm sure you could find some in a health food shop.

Dry beans are an important staple because they are concentrated food value and they keep for years. And the bean is the seed. Once you've found a variety you like just set aside some beans to plant next year.

  • Thu, Oct 19, 2017 - 01:21am

    #14
    fated

    fated

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    Graet video

Fantastic video Snydeman to actually 'see' what someone else is doing in their preps/changed way of living is great.

I envy you kitchen cooker – you don't owe your wife on that one – she owes you!

And the progress on the garden is plain to see. You can easily save seeds from your favorite peas, beans, broad (fava) beans, tomatos, peppers, corn and cucumbers to save from having to re-purchase from the catalogue each year.

As David says above some things are harder to save, like carrots (biennial) and things that cross pollinate easily (brassica family). Beans are about the easiest and it looks like you have that nailed!

We have used a variety of mulches for years, pea straw, oaten hay, sugarcane, autumn leaves, and even pulled weeds. As above you may get the occasional shoot growing which is no problem, and as the mulch breaks down it adds to the soil without seeming to do any harm.

I think like us all you have come a long way, and who knows how much further we all have to go.

 

  • Thu, Oct 19, 2017 - 01:53am

    #15
    fated

    fated

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    Reply to #12

Hi Sand Puppy,

As David explains it's any of the beans which you can dry easily and store to eat (and/or re-plant) after they have gone beyond a good eating stage when fresh on the plant.

I've tried to upload a pic but failed miserably. – nope – just learned about compressing and removing identifying information. Persistance pays off.

I keep jars of them in the pantry over winter to eat in soups and stews, always leaving a good handful to re-plant. We have L-R below: Red kidney beans (small bush bean), Lima/madagascar beans (perennial/biennial climber), plain old green beans (var. blue lake), and two jars of Mostoller goose (climber). There's also a jar of store bought mixed soup beans there that I plan on removing the chick peas from to sow out this year. My first attempt at chick peas was a hot, dry and windy summer and I want to try growing them again. I also have envelopes with about 20 other varieties in my seed box.

You might buy 20-50 seeds in the little yellow envelope shown and this is what you can harvest, dry and save from a crop. No need to purchase those varieties ever again (fingers crossed) if you plant a couple or more bushes out every 2 years or so. Beans dry and store well, have a good shelf life for re-sowing and fairly much self pollinate so are easy to keep genetically pure. I leave them on the plant till the bush dies off, pull out the whole bush if it is a bush type, or harvest the pods from climbing varieties into a bucket. I leave all this under shelter of the carport for a week or so to dry further, then have a great de-shelling. I discard any pods that look mouldy or bug eaten, and any beans that are small, shrivelled or just not the same as the others. I then leave the beans in a cardboard box or old colander inside to dry for a bit longer before I place into envelopes or jars for storage. Similar process with my peas and broad beans and corn.

Hope I haven't bored you all with that but beans would be my favorite plant to grown and harvest.

 

  • Thu, Oct 19, 2017 - 02:52pm

    #16

    Snydeman

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    Thanks David!

Lots of good advice there, thank you! I've started working at saving seeds, but am very, very much in the early stages of that learning process.

  • Thu, Oct 19, 2017 - 04:14pm

    #17

    sand_puppy

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    Bean sources (summarizing)

As a city slicker just exploring this topic I am very appreciative of specific breeds, plants names and instructions.  I list here things that fated, David Allan (<–spelled correctly) and Snydeman mentioned.

Johnny's Seeds Dry bean page.  Kidney beans

Johnny's Seeds Lima Beans

Mostollar Wild Goose Beans

Tepary Beans from Gila River area of Arizona.  (Gila Beans are very drought tolerant)

Borlatti Stoppa Beans.  Oops, they only sell to members of this New Zealand pemaculture club, the Koanga Institute)

How fated does it:

Beans dry and store well, have a good shelf life for re-sowing and fairly much self pollinate so are easy to keep genetically pure. I leave them on the plant till the bush dies off, pull out the whole bush if it is a bush type, or harvest the pods from climbing varieties into a bucket. I leave all this under shelter of the carport for a week or so to dry further, then have a great de-shelling. I discard any pods that look mouldy or bug eaten, and any beans that are small, shrivelled or just not the same as the others. I then leave the beans in a cardboard box or old colander inside to dry for a bit longer before I place into envelopes or jars for storage. Similar process with my peas and broad beans and corn

Thank you guys and gals.

(And Robie — what beans have you found that grow well in central Virginia??)

  • Thu, Oct 19, 2017 - 07:02pm

    #18

    sand_puppy

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    Robie: Outdoor steel barrel stove for canning

Robie, can you take a picture of your homemade steel barrel stove?  Or find a link to one on line??

Is it something like this?

  • Thu, Oct 19, 2017 - 07:41pm

    #19
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Stove

Mine ie a kit, don't remember where I got it. You use a 55 gallon drum. Legs, door and stove pipe ext. are cast iron. Will try to post pictures to you and snideman . Will include my broccoli row. 😉

 

  • Thu, Oct 19, 2017 - 07:42pm

    #20
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Stove

Mine ie a kit, don't remember where I got it. You use a 55 gallon drum. Legs, door and stove pipe ext. are cast iron. Will try to post pictures to you and snideman . Will include my broccoli row. 😉

 

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