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Growing Beans for Making Bean Dip in Cascadia zone 7b?

 
Nicole Alderman
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My family loves bean dip and refried beans. It'd be nice to grow some beans to make into beandip, but I know very little about beans other than green beans. What beans types can I grow and turn into bean dip? Are they easy to prepare?

I live on a north-facing slope surrounded by trees, zone 7b. While I get good sun in some areas in the summer (8:30am-6pm), that really tapers off fast around the equinoxes (for instance, in winter I only get about 2-4 hours of sun in my sunniest areas).

Thanks!
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Location: Officially Zone 7a, nearer 6b, SW Tennessee
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I am in 7a and I blame my difficulties with beans on the hot humid summer. They just start to produce, then die on me. I do have good success with purple hulled peas and other cowpeas. They like my weather, and don't need babying. More peas in a pod than any bean pod I've seen. I have made bean dip with them, it's not like pintos, but still good.
 
Jd Gonzalez
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Pinto beans are the traditional beans for southwest bean dip.

The good news is that beans have not been subjected to GMO technology and store bought dried beans have a high germination rate.
 
Jan White
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I've never made a black bean dip before, but black coco would be a good bean to do it with I think. I've grown it for 4 years with consistently early, high yields. I bought them from Saltspring Seeds. For a white bean, tarbais is a nice thin-skinned one that mashes well. I've only grown it once and it didn't yield that well, but I often have to break in the seeds I buy, so it might do better next year. My climate is much hotter and drier in the summers than where I buy my seeds from (Canadian PNW). I cook the beans with a clove or two of garlic then mash the beans and garlic together. I add salt and nutritional yeast, but you can flavour it however.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:I am in 7a and I blame my difficulties with beans on the hot humid summer. They just start to produce, then die on me. I do have good success with purple hulled peas and other cowpeas. They like my weather, and don't need babying. More peas in a pod than any bean pod I've seen. I have made bean dip with them, it's not like pintos, but still good.


Our summers aren't (usually) as hot or humid as yours, but I have a big bag of field peas/oat cover crop. Maybe I'll pick out the peas and plant them and see how they'll do! Do you know if field peas taste similar to "cow peas"? I've been reading that they'll all in the same family, but I don't quite know how that correlates to flavor...

Jd Gonzalez wrote:Pinto beans are the traditional beans for southwest bean dip.

The good news is that beans have not been subjected to GMO technology and store bought dried beans have a high germination rate.

That seems like a really affordable way to go, with very little investment wasted if it doesn't work. We'll give that a go! Thanks!

Jan White wrote:I've never made a black bean dip before, but black coco would be a good bean to do it with I think. I've grown it for 4 years with consistently early, high yields. I bought them from Saltspring Seeds. For a white bean, tarbais is a nice thin-skinned one that mashes well. I've only grown it once and it didn't yield that well, but I often have to break in the seeds I buy, so it might do better next year. My climate is much hotter and drier in the summers than where I buy my seeds from (Canadian PNW). I cook the beans with a clove or two of garlic then mash the beans and garlic together. I add salt and nutritional yeast, but you can flavour it however.


Ooooooh! I was looking through Territorial Seed Company (they're local down here) before I saw your post, and ran across the name "black coco", but had no idea what it was. When I read your post, I thought, "Hey, didn't I just see that seed name?" Sure enough, there it was! They even say, "It can be a complete meal in itself. Also good for refritos." It looks like you're spot-on about it being good for refried beans!

I have a feeling that ordering through Saltspring would probably mean spending a lot on shipping to get it down south of the boarder, so I'll probably try it through Territorial this year, especially since I can likely pick it up at my local farm co-op. Though, Saltspring has a really extensive section on beans, and I'm reading through Carol Depps' "The Resilient Gardener" that I got for Christmas. She has a large section on beans that I haven't gotten to yet, so I may end up using Saltspring to get some good seeds for our region! Thank you so much for both the variety and the seed company!
 
John Polk
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The Black Coco has been recommended to me by several serious gardeners.
They all swear by it...yield, taste, etc.
 
Sally Munoz
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Location: SW Washington
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We're in 7a/b and have grown pintos (and all types of beans) just fine. Other than the deer, which I hope to address this year! The one I heard great things about for this area is garbanzos (maybe it was Carol's book) and hope to try them this year. I grew her Fortex pole beans last year and they outproduced every other bean-definitely planting those again. Pintos I planted were just bulk eating pintos from Azure Standard.
 
Sally Munoz
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You probably know this, but garbanzos are used for hummus dip. Typical refried dip is indeed pinto. Both delicious!
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Focus on finding the shortest season pulses you can.

Uprising Seeds and The Background Bean and Grains Project are both situated in Whatcom County and should provide some good ideas, though your north-facing slope is certainly a disadvantage.
 
Ann Torrence
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Bush beans or pole beans? There's a decision right there. What beans does your family like to eat? Standard refrieds in a can? Or are they adventurous? You could also look at the Maine varieties like Kenearly and the other Yellow Eyes, but figuring out how you are going to grow them - trellised or not, is a good place to start.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Ann Torrence wrote:Bush beans or pole beans? There's a decision right there. What beans does your family like to eat? Standard refrieds in a can? Or are they adventurous? You could also look at the Maine varieties like Kenearly and the other Yellow Eyes, but figuring out how you are going to grow them - trellised or not, is a good place to start.


I personally prefer pole beans for the ease of picking and they always seem to be a lot more productive than the bush beans I've grown (my bush beans would get maybe a foot tall, but usually more like 8 inches, and I'd get probably 5-15 beans per plant. My pole beans have produced much more for me. It's probably the fault of my soil or something...)

I tend to make refried beans with black beans, though I've done pinto beans as well. I tend to take a can of organic black beans and cook in fat with some spices (oregano, garlic, paprika and cayenne). I feel a little silly because I don't even know what type of beans "black" beans are. Are black cocoa beans "black beans" or do they just taste like them?

Can I really make refried beans with any type of dry bean? We rarely ate beans (aside from pole green bean) growing up (we didn't even have beans in our chili, and very rarely in our tacos, and maybe once had beans in soup), so I have very little experience working with anything other than green beans!

Kyrt Ryder wrote: Focus on finding the shortest season pulses you can.

Uprising Seeds and The Background Bean and Grains Project are both situated in Whatcom County and should provide some good ideas, though your north-facing slope is certainly a disadvantage.


Thank you so much for these links! I hadn't known about those seed companies. Now I'm wishing I hadn't already spent most of my seed money for the year! And, yes, I've been realizing that short season plants are likely going to be my friends. I planted a bunch of fall crops last year, and they just didn't seem to grow much, likely in part due to the decreasing sun light.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Can I really make refried beans with any type of dry bean?


These are what I use for making refried beans. The flavor is awesome!



I prefer to grow bush beans. I can harvest the whole plant at once. No fiddly picking of individual pods, and I don't have to build, tear-down, clean, and store poles. I really liked the productivity of one of the pole beans that I trialed last summer. But I didn't save seeds from it. Make my choices and live with the consequences.
 
Jan White
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Nicole Alderman wrote:I personally prefer pole beans for the ease of picking and they always seem to be a lot more productive than the bush beans I've grown (my bush beans would get maybe a foot tall, but usually more like 8 inches, and I'd get probably 5-15 beans per plant. My pole beans have produced much more for me. It's probably the fault of my soil or something...)


Some high yielding bush beans (for me anyway) are black coco, like I mentioned before, nez perce (possibly my favourite dry bean), and beurre de rocquencourt, a wax bean. The rocques are ridiculous - bear early, heavily, and never stop! I know I always reference Salt Spring Seeds, but it's a great company. If you browse through the descriptions, he sometimes mentions how yields were in certain years. Given he's in a similar climate to yours, that might be helpful to you. Also, he's often got a bean mix or specific varieties discounted because the yields were so high that year. I see this year it's Hutterite soup bean.

In general though I agree with you - pole beans are awesome... except for the damn trellising.

Nicole Alderman wrote:I tend to take a can of organic black beans and cook in fat with some spices (oregano, garlic, paprika and cayenne). I feel a little silly because I don't even know what type of beans "black" beans are. Are black cocoa beans "black beans" or do they just taste like them?


There are a tonne of black bean varieties. I highly doubt black coco is grown commercially, but I don't know. I think they mostly grow seeds that someone can get royalty payments out of. I looked up commercial bean varieties one time cause I was curious too, and they were all names I'd never heard of and couldn't find mentioned anywhere other than places like university trials. A lot of them are named things like G-567 - nothing you'd find in a seed catalogue for backyard gardeners.

Bean types, like black or pink, tend to have certain characteristics common to all of that type, but each variety has differences. I find dry beans to be very satisfying to grow- so much easily stored food for so little effort - so having to try out a whole bunch of varieties to find which one I like best is great!
 
Nicole Alderman
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You all just blew my mind. Until these posts, I had not known that black, pinto, kindney, navy beans were all the same species of bean...let alone "green" beans being the same species. Mind=Blown.

I've seen Joseph Lofthouse's lovely landrace beans before, but it hadn't hit me until now that they can all interbreed. Do pole beans and bush beans interbreed, too?

I like pole beans because I have a lot of bamboo to make teepees (and if I don't use it, it takes over), and currently most of my legumes are are growing behind my small fruit trees....and if I don't put up some sort of posts around a tree guild, my husband will mow over the food! I'm still growing pretty small scale here, though I can definitely see the advantage to bush beans when growing in large areas (if they actually ever grew for me here. I've already ordered the black cocoa bean, so we'll see how that does!)

Thank you all for the information and knowledge!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Nicole Alderman:

The cross pollination rate of common beans varies from garden to garden. In closely planted varieties, we have observed rates of 1 in 200 up to about 1 in 20 depending on pollinator pressure and climate. When a bush bean and a pole bean cross, the first generation are pole beans. A pole bean showing up in the bush beans is a good way to tell that a cross occurred. Bush beans may be recovered from the second generation.

On my farm, I watch closely for the appearance of hybrid beans. I use them to develop new varieties. Here is one of my favorite new varieties.

Oxbow Black Anasazi:


At the end of season, I bet that cleaning bean vines from bamboo is very easy.





 
Nicole Alderman
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The beans do come off the bamboo pretty easily. And, even if they didn't I wouldn't be too worried, since my bamboo tends to become brittle and hard to reuse after a year or two (I haven't been able to properly dry it before use, and it rains a LOT here). So I could always just leave bamboo+bean vinesl on the ground next to my fruit tree, or add it all to a hugel, etc.

Thank you so much for the information on common beans pollination. It's fascinating!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Here's a photo essay of what one of my bean hybrids looked like:

The mother: Dutch Brown Bush bean.


The first generation demonstrated that the father was a pole bean.


The grandchildren. I only saved seeds from the bush beans, which were about 25% of the population.


The great-grandchildren.
 
Shawn Harper
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

When a bush bean and a pole bean cross, the first generation are pole beans. A pole bean showing up in the bush beans is a good way to tell that a cross occurred. Bush beans may be recovered from the second generation.



So if I got some of your landrace beans, mixed them with my pole bean landrace, all of the children that where cross pollinated would be poles, and I could just weed out the bush genetics from there?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Shawn Harper wrote:So if I got some of your landrace beans, mixed them with my pole bean landrace, all of the children that where cross pollinated would be poles, and I could just weed out the bush genetics from there?


Yup. Sorta. There are 4 types of growth habit in common beans. My landrace beans contain the three habits that are not "twining pole". So if you aren't used to the different types it might be a learning process for a while to be able to distinguish the difference between a pole bean and a bush bean with tendrils... I'm constantly telling people: "No matter what the plant looks like, don't give it a pole, cause it won't climb it even if you do.".

Since the bush trait is recessive, if it gets into your pole beans, there will continue to be some possibility of a few bush beans showing up in the pole bean patch. But once you get bush habit selected, then it stays that way unless it's cross pollinated.



 
Shawn Harper
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Shawn Harper wrote:So if I got some of your landrace beans, mixed them with my pole bean landrace, all of the children that where cross pollinated would be poles, and I could just weed out the bush genetics from there?


Yup. Sorta. There are 4 types of growth habit in common beans. My landrace beans contain the three habits that are not "twining pole". So if you aren't used to the different types it might be a learning process for a while to be able to distinguish the difference between a pole bean and a bush bean with tendrils... I'm constantly telling people: "No matter what the plant looks like, don't give it a pole, cause it won't climb it even if you do.".

Since the bush trait is recessive, if it gets into your pole beans, there will continue to be some possibility of a few bush beans showing up in the pole bean patch. But once you get bush habit selected, then it stays that way unless it's cross pollinated.





Thats ok. I actually am ok with all of the growth habits besides the regular bush type. I find it doesn't do well in my three sisters guild.
 
nancy sutton
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Re: Carol Depp, she sells seeds, and has a catalogue...

http://www.caroldeppe.com/Seed%20List%202015.html

 
Peter Ellis
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nancy sutton wrote:Re: Carol Depp, she sells seeds, and has a catalogue...

http://www.caroldeppe.com/Seed%20List%202015.html



Thanks for this link.
 
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