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Growing Beans Naturally

 
Steve Thorn
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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I wanted to make this thread to help me keep track of and document growing beans naturally with hopefully minimal work and maximum harvest!

I like letting them grow super large and select for productiveness and disease and pest resistance. They grow up among my fruit trees in the food forest, so I can maximize my food forest area, and have been a super low maintenance and also high production crop.

Here's a link to my thread about creating a genetically diverse, vigorous, productive, and disease and pest resistant bean landrace.

Creating a Super Vigorous and Productive Bean Landrace

Hopefully it can be helpful to others also!
 
Steve Thorn
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Posts: 2782
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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The pole beans seem to be loving growing in the food forest!
20200624_201809.jpg
beans in the food forest
20200624_201826.jpg
beans in the food forest
Beans-and-blackberries-.jpg
Beans and blackberries!
Beans and blackberries!
20200624_201915.jpg
beans in the food forest
20200624_202355.jpg
beans in the food forest
 
Steve Thorn
steward
Posts: 2782
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
1014
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More beans in the food forest...
20200627_183858.jpg
beans in the food forest
Beans-in-the-food-forest.jpg
Beans in the food forest
Beans in the food forest
Beans-and-vlackberries.jpg
Beans and vlackberries
Beans and vlackberries
Beans-growing-on-a-branch.jpg
Beans growing on a branch
Beans growing on a branch
 
Steve Thorn
steward
Posts: 2782
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
1014
forest garden fish trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead ungarbage
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Green bean flowers are so beautiful to me.
White-and-yellow-bean-flowers.jpg
White and yellow bean flowers
White and yellow bean flowers
 
Shawn Harper
Posts: 423
Location: Portlandish, Oregon
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Do you start yours indoors and transplant? I always figured without enough light they wouldn't germinate.
 
Steve Thorn
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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I direct sowed just scattering the seed.

I planted too late this year, and the slugs got a lot of the seed, but I still had a good number sprout. I think if I had sown them earlier, the slugs wouldn't have been a problem, because I've never had a problem with them in the past.

The deer and bunnies are nibbling on the ones that are in the open, so I hope that by planting them more densely next year, maybe mixed in with some bush squash that the nibblers seem to avoid, will help in the future.
 
Steve Thorn
steward
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
1014
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Here's a few photos of some of my green beans last year.

I really like the coloration of the seeds in the last photo.
Some-dark-purple.jpg
Some dark purple
Some dark purple
Light-purple-and-light-green.jpg
Light purple and light green
Light purple and light green
Oh-wait-that-s-not-a-green-bean-it-s-a-praying-mantis-).jpg
Oh wait, that's not a green bean, it's a praying mantis! :)
Oh wait, that's not a green bean, it's a praying mantis! :)
Lots-of-dark-purple.jpg
Lots of dark purple
Lots of dark purple
I-call-thee-mocha-cream.jpg
I call thee mocha cream
I call thee mocha cream
 
Lila Stevens
pollinator
Posts: 161
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Those mocha cream ones are gorgeous. Are those a variation that appeared through cross-pollination, or did you buy seed beans that looked like that? So pretty.
 
Steve Thorn
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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Yes, they were my favorite variation through cross pollination. I'm thinking they were a cross of a white seeded one with one of the lighter brown ones.
 
Lila Stevens
pollinator
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That is so cool!
 
Steve Thorn
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I forgot to add a photo here of some of my bean seeds that I saved from last year. This was about a third of the ones I saved.

This third in the picture had longer and fully filled pods, so I'm thinking these may have contained more crosses, due to the better pollination. Another third I saved from most of the other plants in the Fall. I still had quite a bit leftover this Spring that were still hanging on the vines, and seem to be especially resistant to rot.

I plan to mix up all of these in some areas but hopefully also have another area where I plant each of these separately to observe them and the results.
Lots-of-diverse-bean-seeds.jpg
Lots of diverse bean seeds
Lots of diverse bean seeds
 
Steve Thorn
steward
Posts: 2782
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
1014
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I was just thinking of how valuable the trait is that they hung all the way into Apring without rotting ( which is surprising that I had so many here due to our wet and sometimes both warm and cold winters).

They could be picked and eaten as dry beans as an emergency food supply during the winter when there is almost nothing else to pick. I bet they would probably be tougher and have to be cooked a lot longer than ones harvested early and stored

Has anyone ever done that?
 
It's just a flesh wound! Or a tiny ad:
HARDY FRUIT TREES FOR ORGANIC AND PERMACULTURE
https://permies.com/t/132540/HARDY-FRUIT-TREES-ORGANIC-PERMACULTURE
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