Dry bean (black and cattle) harvesting help!!

greenmtngal14August 12, 2012

Alright, this is my first year growing *dry* beans. I have a plethora of cattle beans and black beans that are slowly drying on the plant.

I harvested maybe 50 pods a few days ago as it was supposed to rain for 3 days (and it did) and they were almost drying. I laid them out on a tarp in a spare bedroom with a fan blowing over them. Now the pods are molding!!

Did I do this wrong? Should the moldy ones meet their demise in the trash? Can I still salvage the good ones.

Can I finish drying them in the oven or my dehydrator? I'd like to keep as many as I can!

Thanks for the help!!!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pnbrown

I leave them on the plants until mid to late fall, never seems to be a problem. It is very wet here now as well so we'll see how it goes with the dry legumes.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 9:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Greenmtngal, it sounds like you did everything right. Picking dry (and nearly dry) pods when rain is expected can minimize spoilage, and make the difference between a good harvest, and a mediocre one. Placing the pods under a fan to dry was also the right thing to do. If the pods were nearly dry when picked, I'm a little mystified as to the reason for the mold. Were the pods in a single layer?

"Can I finish drying them in the oven or my dehydrator?"

That depends on whether the beans will be for eating, or for saving seed. If for eating only, then drying in the dehydrator, or in the oven on its lowest setting, is OK.

Seed to be used for planting must be handled more carefully. The oven would be out of the question, unless it is warmed by a pilot light only. Unless you have a blower only mode on your dehydrator (mine doesn't), the lowest heat setting is probably 95-100 degrees F. Even that much heat can damage beans - over time. A short time in the dehydrator, to get them half dry & stop molding, might be OK. Be sure to disinfect your dehydrator after you are done, following the manufacturer's directions for your unit.

If you have a lot of beans left to harvest, I would suggest using a window screen propped up in front of the fan, or something which will allow air flow from the bottom. The tarp is probably too dense to allow air to pass through, and may be the problem. Also, if you have a portable dehumidifier, placing it in the room would speed drying.

I dry fresh-picked pods under a ceiling fan in my living room, on some used cafeteria trays. The trays I use have a textured surface, so air can pass beneath the pods.

As to the moldy pods... don't throw them out just yet, unless they are so moldy as to be a health risk. Dry them as quickly as possible to stop the mold. It may be only on the outside of the pod. When the pods are completely dry (after about a week) shell out the beans & inspect them. If the beans themselves are moldy or discolored, throw them out; if good, keep them. I would suggest, though, that those beans be used for eating, not seed saving.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 11:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nick_b79(4/5 Southeast MN)

We would always harvest our beans by pulling up the whole plant by the roots, knocking off the dirt, tying them into bundles, and hanging them from the rafters of the garage, pole barn or tool shed to dry. We never picked individual bean pods for drying.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 2:18AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Germination Test #1 Chinese Long Green long bean
My family has grown this variety of long bean since...
nightbloomincereus 7A noVA
Interesting threads...
Searching for past posts isn't that easy, at least...
aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada
black gandules
Hi, does anyone know where I can find black gandules?...
ily68
Insuk's Wang Kong (red scarlet runners) part 2
I am the one that wrote the last post, so I am starting...
cabrita
Margaret Best Greasy Cut Short
These took 66 days to the first picking. I planted...
shuffles_gw
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™