Shelly's Vs Dry Beans

coconut_head(5b)September 28, 2011

Hi all,

I have a question about shelly's vs Dry. I picked all of my beans the other day because the vines had collapsed down the poles and some were broken and the leaves were turning brown. Also many beans were right on the ground and I was concerned of slug or other critter damage, it's been really wet here.

Now, I opened a few of the pods to see how the beans looked inside, they were nice full mature beans with nice purple striping on a pale kahki background. I threw them on the counter to let them dry a bit and the rest I kept in the shells and put them in a canvas re-usable grocery bag. I have a lot of beans, maybe 10 Lbs worth.

My general question is this, the beans are not "dried in the pod" they are still green pods, can I save any of these for seed or did I ruin that chance? I was hoping to have dried beans to save for seed and to eat as dried beans.

Also how do I use beans as shellies, Just pop them out now and eat them? Do I freeze them, can them? The ones I left on my counter ( 3 days now) are starting to turn a little brown, is this ok? I only did a handful to see what would happen and to me it looks like I am ruining them.

This morning I took all the beans in the pods out of the grocery bag and put them on a table on top of a towel, then I took a fan and have it blowing on them. I am hoping this will help them dry out faster so they don't spoil.

Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated. I should have read more before I got to this point, I am only hoping I am not totally out of luck.

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I'll post pictures when I get home later tonight also.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 2:28PM
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Even dry looking pods can mold if air is not blowing on them. Or beans can sprout inside the pod. If the seeds are mature, I shell them into a colander and put under a fan. If seeds are pale and not fully colored, I string the pods on strong thread and hang over a box with a fan on them, till the seeds have color, than shell them into a colander and put a fan on them. If you leave them laying on a towel, you may find mold on the underside when you turn them.But it's better than the bag, they would definitely have molded in there, so it's good that you took them out.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 7:44PM
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Coconut Head, If the pods have not turned brown and the beans feel soft when you poke them with your thumbnail, you can use them as shellies. If they have a lot of moisture they can be shelled and steamed. I serve them with butter, salt and freshly ground pepper. If they have less moisture, I boil them.

For freezing, you can boil them for 5 minutes then put them in cold water. Try to get as much of the air out of the bag as you can.

Happyday has given you instructions for drying and saving seeds. Some people dry them on a screen. - Dick

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 10:03PM
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Screens are good too, probably best especially if you can still get a fan on them. I use colanders because I have 20 or so types of beans that I want to keep separate. If I had room for 20 screens they'd probably dry faster.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 11:09PM
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Thanks both for the info, I think I'll pull some out now for trying in a bean soup, and par boil a batch to see how they freeze. Then I'll dry the rest, one batch for a mid winter soup, and another for my seeds.

I don't have any screens handy right now, but I planned on making some to screen my compost, so maybe I'll just make an extra large one that I can set up in the garage where I can set a fan on it.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 7:41AM
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Ok, here are some pics, first them on the table with a towel under. I figure the towel will at least help absorb a little moisture. Until I can get to lowes to get materials for screens.

Then here is a closeup on a couple I already shelled, see how some are turning brown while others are not? Any ideas? I'm guessing I don't want to eat the brown ones? What about drying those to see if they will germinate?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 8:40AM
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