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I guess this is progress...(beans)

 
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First generation seeds really struggle in my yard. 2nd generation do better, and by the third generation they're generally trying to take over the world if they survive that long. This year I was able to get a bunch of different kinds of beans, and I'll be starting a dry bean landrace and a separate green bean landrace next year.

First generation, never planted before:
Monos Negros: 1 oz from one plant (planted 3, 1 survived)
Oland Swedish: 1 oz from one plant (planted 3, 1 survived)
Whipple: 1.2 oz from one plant (planted 3, 1 survived)
Tendergreen: 1.5 oz from four survivors, but most of it is from one plant
Blue Lake: .8 oz from one plant
Rattlesnake: 1 oz from several plants, but I just grabbed what ripened and let the rest go. I won't be breeding this one into either landrace, but I will be keeping it.

First generation, previously planted
Hitatsu Red: less than .1 oz (about 15 beans). Last year I got nothing.
Hidatsu Shield: Eliminated. 2 years in a row, no harvest.
Kidney: .9 oz from one plant, planted 8 but only one survived. Last year 100% mortality.

2nd generation
Pinto: 1 oz from one plant. Last year we planted 8, seven survived, and we got less than an ounce of seed off of all 7.

Opinion question: Should I try to keep colors together, or sort by size, or just throw it all in and let them sort it out? Kidney is a large bean, while Monos Negros and Idaho Pink are tiny. I have several pink/red beans and several brown mottled beans. I have different sizes, and different growth patterns from pure bush to "Monster climber which strangles everything."
 
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Your question is better answered by Joseph Lofthouse or someone similar but I strongly advise to keep working with pinto beans. They taste amazing fresh from the garden.
 
Lauren Ritz
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Mike Barkley wrote:I strongly advise to keep working with pinto beans. They taste amazing fresh from the garden.



I plan to, but tasting them will have to wait until I have enough for seeds + eating! Third generation minimum.
 
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I grow my beans all jumbled together, hoping that it will increase the cross pollination rate over planting all of the same variety next to each other. If I grew them separate, it would make it easier for me to identify naturally occurring hybrids.

I only grow bush(ish) beans. If I grew pole beans, I would grow them separate from the bush beans.

bush-beans-2018.jpg
[Thumbnail for bush-beans-2018.jpg]
Dry bush bean landrace
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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What I have noticed, is that some particular variety (or plant) may produce ten times more beans than other varieties or plants. The trick to quick landrace development is to grow enough varieties that the out-performers can be quickly identified. That's a big part of why I like to identify hybrid beans, and plant them preferentially, because every seed  (recently descended from hybrids) is essentially it's own unique variety for the first 5 or so years, until the inbreeding takes over again.
 
Lauren Ritz
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I grow my beans all jumbled together, hoping that it will increase the cross pollination rate over planting all of the same variety next to each other. If I grew them separate, it would make it easier for me to identify naturally occurring hybrids.


Thanks. Now that you say that, it occurs to me that if I make sure all the parents are as different as possible I should know precisely which parents are involved by the color, size and patterns the next generation. That way I know what to plant more of the next time to make sure everything is in the mix. And the group I have would be pretty good for that--one large, two small, the rest medium, one orange, one black, one white, one pink, one red. Even the Whipple is unique enough that it would probably be obvious if it was one of the parents.

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I only grow bush(ish) beans. If I grew pole beans, I would grow them separate from the bush beans.



I only have one real pole bean at the moment--all the others are bush beans or have short runners. The Rattlesnake bean was listed as a drought tolerant green bean so I stupidly planted it next to the corn without actually reading the description. It promptly buried a good section of the corn patch. That one will be planted on the bean towers next year.
 
Lauren Ritz
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:What I have noticed, is that some particular variety (or plant) may produce ten times more beans than other varieties or plants. The trick to quick landrace development is to grow enough varieties that the out-performers can be quickly identified. That's a big part of why I like to identify hybrid beans, and plant them preferentially, because every seed  (recently descended from hybrids) is essentially it's own unique variety for the first 5 or so years, until the inbreeding takes over again.


Yeah, that's what I got with the Idaho Pink--low germination first generation, but each bush was pretty well loaded. That year I got three quarts of beans from 6 plants, so more than triple my harvest per plant with these new varieties first generation. Nothing else has done that well since. If I can get that trait mixed with suspected drought tolerance (a couple varieties didn't start ripening until I pulled the water off) I'll have a good start.
 
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For me, I like beans that cook the same rate.  So for the first few years, I sifted the beans into a few different sizes.

Now, I'm extracting out the white coloured beans from the mix because we like the taste of those best.  
 
Lauren Ritz
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raven ranson wrote:For me, I like beans that cook the same rate.  So for the first few years, I sifted the beans into a few different sizes.

Now, I'm extracting out the white coloured beans from the mix because we like the taste of those best.  



That makes sense. Did all the beans of the same size cook the same? Or were there some that resisted conformity and you've culled them out?
 
r ranson
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They all seemed to cook about the same.  They had different textures, but that was part of the charm.  None were undercooked.

On the whole, we find the white ones easier to digest but these had the hardest time growing in our conditions (plant before the last frost, weed a few times, then harvest before the rain settles in).  We had one in 20 survive.  But once they crossed with the others, the survival rate went up.  The black seeds were still the most productive, but I think if we keep selecting for white seed, we should get the value of the landrace with the quality we seek.  
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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One thing that I'll sometimes do, is sort beans to get enough of each to plant short rows of the sorted beans by type. That lets me easily compare how that type compares to other types...  That may also show that just cause two dry beans look the same, that the plants, flowers, or other growth habits might show that they are actually different varieties. If a plant a row of white beans, and a colored bean shows up, that may mean that it is a hybrid (or volunteer, etc)

Or, I'll sort a handful of the bulk seeds, which gives me a quick overview of which are the most prolific. I might then choose to plant more of the less productive, just to keep them around, or plant bulk seed, which tends to increase productivity as that type comes to predominate in the population.

I like making bean histograms. Here's a photo of two 100-seed lots, one over the other. They were both taken from the same batch of seeds. They have 19 types in common, and 39 types between both lots.To maximize diversity, I'd plant the beans that are only sparingly represented. To maximize productivity, I'd plant the varieties containing the most seeds. I tend to do both. Several rows of bulk seed, and one row of rare seeds.  
tepary-colors-2018.jpg
[Thumbnail for tepary-colors-2018.jpg]
Sorting tepary beans by type to get a few seeds of each type
bean-midnight-d-entire-harvest.jpg
[Thumbnail for bean-midnight-d-entire-harvest.jpg]
Sorting beans by type to get a sense of productivity.
bean-histogram-2017.jpg
[Thumbnail for bean-histogram-2017.jpg]
Histogram of bean types
 
Lauren Ritz
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So my "historgram" for this year would pretty much be a straight line. :) Right now I'm just looking for any sort of production. If they don't produce two years in a row in different circumstances, they're eliminated.

Next year...
 
Mike Barkley
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For me, I like beans that cook the same rate.  So for the first few years, I sifted the beans into a few different sizes.  


I like that idea. Makes sense. On the other hand ... recently used an old jar from storage that had white beans on top & peas on the bottom. Only intended to use the white beans but it got mixed up when pouring out of the jar. The peas completely broke down before the white beans were fully cooked. It was excellent. Like pea soup with beans. And ham.

Bean histogram. That's so cool!!!

Just for grins this past season I planted a bag of store bought 16 bean soup. Most grew. Didn't get many harvested though because they were in a very small space & they choked each other out. Had plenty of other beans though. Will do that again next year but give them much more space.

 
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