We are deep into harvesting season right now and so my words will be few.
But, I wanted to share my adventure of planting and harvesting Vermont Cranberry Beans. For my first time venture into the land of dried beans I think it went very well. I will definitely be doing it again.
I learned a few things that might be handy to keep in mind if you ever plant a bean that you intend to use for dry use. I let my beans dry down on the plant while they were still in the garden. As the plants dried out I pulled them out of the ground and stripped the pods off of the plant. This worked great for the first 1/3 of the row that I picked.
We shucked the beans into bowls and then I transferred them onto cookie sheets (which I covered with dish towels) to finish drying.
After about 4-5 days I placed them into a quart jar.
I waited for the plants to continue to dry down and then I picked again.
This time, however, I noticed that some of the beans had started to mold from too much moisture. And upon further investigation we saw that some of the beans had gotten so wet that they were starting to sprout inside the pods. It made for an interesting science discussion for my younger two, but it wasn’t so good for yields!
So, I learned that I need to pick sooner, keep a closer eye on the weather, and pluck those babies out of the ground if it looks like it is going to be wet for a while. I need to keep in mind that I can always hang the plants to let them finish drying down. Or just shuck the beans out of the pods and let them dry the rest of the way on cookie sheets.
All in all I would say that growing Vermont Cranberry Beans has been a success and the proof is in the pot!
MMMMM ….. So Good!!!