Just planted edamame, because I figured our market customers would love it. Do you sell edamame? If so, what sizes and prices? I'm thinking maybe $5/quart unshelled or $4/1.5 pint unshelled. Is that too low?
I did a trial last year - people eagerly bought at $3/pint unshelled. I didn't have enough to shell and make it look like anything ;-)
Of course this is more expensive area, I don't know what your market will support. Does anyone else around there sell it?
I'm looking at 2 more months at least before I can plant beans, and the edamame says it takes 90 days. Though last year I was selling it early-mid Aug and I don't think I planted until mid-June. I have to keep better records.
Oh, and it wasn't ready all at once either, like Fedco said it would be. I picked for 2-3 weeks off the same plants, not a 10-day window.
I grew if for a few years but gave it up. Too much of a pain to harvest.
I have seen some farmers cut whole plants and hang them from the booth at market and selling them by the each. I don't remember how much they sold for.
Sorry, not much help from me......
It is just as much a pain to harvest as green beans, but sells for more $. If all the pods were ready at the same time then you could cut the plant and sell it, I understand that's the preferred method in Japan, but I just didn't see it happen with my plants last year. Now this year if I have too many to pick (planting all the seed bought in 2011) I may have to do that, but there are going to be some ripe (big and yellow) and some not filled out pods along with the ones that are "just right".
I remember each little pod being more strongly attached to the stem than string beans. That and their size is why I say it was a pain.
Yes it is as easy to pick as beans but takes a little more muscle with each pull. I have found a big difference with variety. Envy was not as good as Beerfriend. They are yummy to eat raw. I usually sell out at market too but people either love or hate soy so I ask my CSAs to tell me if they want it.
I plan on using much of the crop this year for saved seed.
I didn't pick as many last year as string beans, but don't recall them being any more firmly attached. Actually, I ended cutting the Bush Blue Lake green beans off the plants with a pair of kiddie scissors b/c I was snapping the beans or breaking the plants tugging on them. Edamame might be a little harder/take a couple seconds longer to ID ones that are ready b/c you want the seeds filled out but not yellow pods, green beans I was just going on length (and cutting off the ones that were overripe anyway so plants would keep producing, sorted them out later).
Never tried them raw, only steamed with sea salt. This year I'm going to try steamed and shelled with butter - DH said he ate some in MD on business trip, restaurant served them just like limas.