Drying green beans

dndfarmsJuly 26, 2006

This year, we planted rattlesnake beans for our green bean crop. We were about covered over with green beans...canned enough for a jar a week for the next year and gave away as many as we could! Finally, I drew the line and refused to pick anymore, as the neighbors and even the mailman had begun to run away from me shouting, "No thanks! No more beans!" The beans kept on producing and now the beans have begun to get fat and dry out on the vines. My question is, can we use these as "dry" beans. If so, when do you harvest them and then how do you dry them? Thanks for any advice you can give!

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yes, you can dry them and use them as you would any dry bean. Leave them on the vine till they turn yellow and begin to shrivle.(SP)-2 If the weather is wet go ahead and pull them at this stage take inside shell out and let completly dry tossing them frequently during the day till dry. If the weather is dry and weavels or other bugs are not a big problem let them turn brown till they rattle on the vine and the pods are crisp if not pick and let airdry in the house a few days. The dry beans are harder to shell than the yellowed pods above so I place them in a pillow case, and pretend that they are squash bugs and thrash the living %X** out of them against a tree then place in a colander and toss in the wind to remove all the debris. Store in freezer to kill bug eggs at least a few days. Then add to soups. I made refried beans and just cooked beans like navy beans out of them but they lack the flavor of some of the dry bean types but do very well as an additive to soups and better yet save some of the seed to replant next year or offer here for a trade etc. Rodger

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 3:43PM
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Thanks Rodger! That is kind of what I was thinking, but wanted to make sure. Hadn't thought of putting them in the freezer for a few days, but that is an excellent suggestion! Appreciate your advice!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 4:43PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

It's more than an excellent suggetion. It's a rquirement if you have any chance of bean weevils.

Ideal is to store in a zero degree freezer for at least 48 hours. Doing so kills all three stages of the pest: the eggs, the worm, and the adult.

It's a simple step that anyone storing beans should take.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 8:54AM
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Ever heard of drying green beans in their shell and cooking them whole? My parent learned this growing up in Kentucky (called them Leatherbritches or Shuckey Beans). If so, what is the best kind of beans?


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 1:00PM
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DAVID, I just picked my pole beans this afternoon with the intention of drying them, and looked up how to do this in my "Stocking Up" book published by Rodale press, and was suprised to see a way to dry snap beans by cutting or slicing them into small pieces, blanching them, then drying them. Is that your Leatherbritches? I'd never heard of that done. Must be a Kentucky thang! They just generic-ly suggested Snap Beans.

Jackie in Pa.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 1:13PM
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Well - I have asked people for years and never found anyone admit to hearing of this. I only remember parts: we would always take the stings off; I do not remember blanching; not sure we broke them into peices; usually strung them on thread for hanging OR spread them on sheets, but always sun dried; afterward soak for 1-2 days, then pressure cook them with salt pork, etc. BUT I am not sure what I may have missed, and never heard the right kind of bean. I tried Kentuckty Wonder (or Runner?) and worked OK ths year, but not like Momma's.

Who publishes that book?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 1:28PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

David, just about any bean will work for Leather Britches.

My adopted granny, Sarah Lou Back, now deceased, grew six kinds of beans that she had inheretied from her grandmother. For Leather Britches Sarah preferred Greasy Grits. I well remember the strings of them hanging so thickly from her porch beams that you couldn't see the house.

I've never heard of blanching the beans first. Merely stringing them, and hanging in a dry, airy place. Some folks don't even string them, but I can't see that because no amount of chewing is going to make the zipper strings edible.

Jacking, cutting into small pieces (again, without blanching)--actually snapping them, rather than cutting---and then drying produces Shucky Beans. They're usually cooked with the dryed hulls.

FWIW: Both these techniques date back to colonial days. So it's not a Kentucky thang, per se. More of a Mountain thang, I'd say.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 4:00PM
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LOL I'm just a farmers daughter from the Allegheny Mts. all my grandma did with beans was can them! Although Dad liked his fried fresh in butter and onions and eaten with gravy on top. I liked them canned and my 8yr old loves 3 bean salad, the baby age 2 likes any bean, anyway. As for my book, STOCKING UP it was printed by Rodale Press (think organtic gardening or farming magazine) mine was copywrit 1973. And I bought it on Ebay. In it, it has a list of what vegetable varieties are good for what; canning, freezing, pickling whatever, and where you can buy them; Henry Field, Burpee, etc....
For example, for dried beans they recommend a whole list, but I can look at this list and find McClasan Pole and it is sold by R.H. Shumway , a seed company from Rockford, IL. or White Wonder from Henry Fields. Its interesting.
This book has chapters on storing different fruits & veggies, whether by canning, drying, or underground storage or pickling, as well as chapters on preserving meat and dairy and seeds, nuts, and grains.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 5:52PM
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papabos(SW Florida)

I just read Rodger's post about how to put the dried beans in a sack and beat the bejeebers out of them rather than shelling them one at a time.
I like that idea.
Any more labor saving ideas for shelling?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 4:04PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

At the recent AHSC Fall Conference, Bill Best demonstrated a new sheller that he'd recently installed.

It was the cat's meow for sure. Dried beans went in one container, hulls and any other debris when in another.

Ira Wallace, honcho of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, had just purchased a similar one, but hadn't set it up yet. After seeing it at Bill's, she was anxious to get home and do so.

I have no idea what the thing cost, so can't guess how much usage would be required to make it cost effective.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 5:28PM
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Love this forum. We grow green beans every year. My wife cans them. We save the seed from year to year. We just let them dry, shell them and store the seeds in sealed pint canning jars all winter in the freezer, then plant again in the spring. We save most of our seeds this way. We have very good results this way. That Rodger is a down right good and funny guy too. Love to read his posts with the wit and common sense. Suzie

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 3:33PM
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Papabos, Until last winter the beans in sac worked well. Then I recieved a catalog from redhill country store in NC and they had a hand pea sheller so I bought it. It is a godsend. I can't begin to describe how well it works I posted a picture in a previous thread I will post it again here. I have used it on dry beans(which are the hardest to shell) peas green and dry and dry limas.The picture is of some brown seeded half runners I call Annie Cromers bean from a 96 old lady who has grown them all her life and some peas waiting to be shelled. And thanks for the compliment Suzie. Rodger

Here is a link that might be useful: pea sheller

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 11:10PM
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I need a recipe for DRY CANNING GREEN BEANS! A neighbor used to do this. Of course I did not care then. Now, I want to try this, cannot find a recipe. Wonder if it might be an Amish way of canning?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 2:32PM
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I just heard good advice from another gardener about picking beans into onion bags, then hanging the bags to dry them, possibly near a woodstove or maybe in the sun or wind.

I buy foot long ice pops in the summer that are sold in strong net bags. I save the bags and may try picking into them this fall instead of into plastic bags, as long as the beans don't fall out of the openings. I dry them under fans, and would probably jostle the bags daily to get all surfaces exposed to the moving air.

Carol, what do you mean by dry canning? Do you mean reconstituting then canning dried beans, or leather britches, or are you looking for a way to store dried beans?
Give us more of a description instead of just capitol letters, please.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 3:26PM
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Has anyone tried pulling the vines and hanging them with the bean pods still on the vine? I am at the last stages of bean production with over mature pods that have advanced to the "shelly" stage. I seem to remember as a kid pulling the plants, tying them together at the roots and suspending them from a rafter or ceiling to dry. Has anyone tried this? I'm afraid if I leave them in the field, they will mold as we have had a wet summer.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Yes, it works fine. Harvest time for dry beans, around here, can be the wettest time of year. Since my plants are still living and producing, I sometimes just pick the pods that are starting to dry and move them indoors.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 12:51PM
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