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Please join me in welcoming Susan Young, author of Growing Beans: A Diet for Healthy People and Planet




Read the book review here!

Susan Young will be hanging out in the forums until May 6 answering questions and sharing her experiences with you all.

At the end of the week, we'll make a drawing for 4 lucky winners to win a copy of her book! From now until Friday, all new posts in the Beansforum are eligible to win.

To win, you must use a name that follows our naming policy and you must have your email set up to receive the Daily-ish email. Higher quality posts are weighed more highly than posts that just say, "I want this book!"

The winners will be notified by Purple Moosage and must respond within 24 hours. Only the winners who respond within that timeframe will receive their book. Watch for a PM, and a notice in this thread announcing the winners!


Please remember that we favour perennial discussion.  The threads you start will last beyond the event.  You don't need to use Susan's name to get her attention. We like these threads to be accessible to everyone, and some people may not post their experiences if the thread is directed to the author alone.


Posts in this thread won't count as an entry to win the book, but please say "Hi!" to Susan Young and make her feel welcome!
COMMENTS:
 
gardener
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Hello Susan and welcome.  I am excited to see more Bean Posts.  The information you have given us already is great!

Calling all bean enthusiasts!
https://permies.com/t/177502/Calling-bean-enthusiasts#1394484
 
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Christopher Shepherd wrote:Hello Susan and welcome.  I am excited to see more Bean Posts.  The information you have given us already is great!

Calling all bean enthusiasts!
https://permies.com/t/177502/Calling-bean-enthusiasts#1394484



Thank you for the welcome Christopher and thank you for your positive support of 'the bean book'.

This is a busy time - sowing all the beans and trying to keep all of the trays of pots just that bit warmer to make sure they germinate.  Always difficult to know what to sow this year out of all the beans I love.  
 
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Welcome, Susan

I am looking forward to learning more about growing beans and reading all the threads about beans.

 
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Welcome, Susan. :)

I have a lot of interest in this plant in general. I want to find out ways to generate a lot of non-meat protein and I'd always been steered towards beans and grains. Seems like cultivating a few bush beans was always more approachable than trying to grow - and then process - my own wheat, for example.

I'll skim around the forums and then likely end up posting a few questions about different varieties if I don't find authoritative suggestions anywhere else. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and knowledge here!
 
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Welcome Susan! Thank’s for hanging out with us.
 
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Life with Beans is most excellent!
 
Christopher Shepherd
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Welcome to Permies Grace.  Hope to see you posting more.
 
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Susan, welcome! I've been looking forward to your week with us!
 
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Welcome! My husband is finally on board with eating beans more frequently, and I'm looking into growing more varieties. Looking forward to the discussions!
 
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Welcome Susan!

I have grown green beans for years, but none others.

Always wanted to.  I know they are healthy and I bought a couple packets of beans to try this year.  Eclipse dry bean and Quincy pinto beans.
 
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Thank you for sending us the link to this thread, Nicole.
I like the focus on beans. I am living a vegan lifestyle so I like everything related to protein from plants.
I have tried growing beans and peas before but I am not very good with the supports. They turn out rickety.
However broad beans (is that the same as fava beans? mine were fava) worked well for me and the best is to sow them in autumn or late summer. Then they are ready in the spring and I do not have to water them so much.

I had an eye opener the other day. I concentrate on the spring as the sowing season but in my climate (mediteranian with little water and little winter) planting after the summer heat is actually smart.  If I plant cabbage in the spring I need to water the plants all summer. If I sow them in autumn I do not need to water much and they get ready in the spring. Actually we just had our caulifower season. I did not grow them myself but they were available from all the local growers. So people do practice this system.

Of course the summer plants like tomotoes, bell peppers, zuchini etc. need to be planted in spring but then I can harvest them in summer so it makes sense to water them. Those that have a longer growing time can stay in the ground during the winter as we do not have temperatures very much under zero. So I must put in my mind that september is an important sowing time for my climate. (I am a beginning gardener :) )

The other reason I like the idea of a book about growing beans is that the prices of beans have gone up a lot, they cost between 5 and 10 euros a kilo now. So it makes sense from a financial point of view also to grow beans. I just sowed a bed of peas yesterday and a little bed of landrace tepary beans from Joseph Lofthouse. I am looking forward!!

I love eating peas fresh from the pod, And it's the perfect snack that comes in it's own little package. I ate them in India where you have to be careful with eating fresh produce because of the stomach bugs. But I figure that peas are fine because they have their own coat.
I haven't tried it with beans yet. I think the fava's all got cooked. Has anybody tried?

I do not understand very well the requirement with the name in order to be eligible for the book. IS my name all right or do I have to create another one?

I like pinto beans but I am not sure I can get them here for sowing. Or can I just put some of the dried pinto beans that I  have bought for cooking into the ground?  Is there a difference between dried beans and seed of beans?

Have you all heard about black chick peas? They exist and are very tasty. They are used in Indian cooking and very good for health especially for warriors.
This thread makes me creative! I could put some of those in the ground as well. Would it be good to soak them first or let them germ as they have been dried so thoroughly? I bought my black chick peas in Amsterdam here in the countryside in  France where I live I cannot buy them. So another good reason to learn how to grow them.

Thanks a lot Susan for being with us this week! Looking forward to your input!
 
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Welcome, Susan!

I cannot grow animal protein in my yard as I have a small suburban yard, and even more limiting, a husband who doesn't want livestock beyond my beehives.  This could create an impasse, as I am only willing to buy cruelty-free meat, and I am not willing to take out the small mortgage required to buy the smaller portions appropriate for a two person household...enter bean dishes!

I would love to hear more about how one can grow enough beans in a small space to create useful quantities in a smaller suburban plot.

Best,
Juliana
 
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To make beans easier to digest, you can add epazote, a Mexican herb. There is a European herb as well, what is it called in english? Bean herb?  Aah, no, it is called savory.
 
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Beans always good
 
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Welcome Susan! I've grown pole beans and bush beans, mostly for eating at the "green bean" stage, but believe it or not, dried Scarlet Runner bean dip is a favorite of friends that I shared it with. Unfortunately both the bunnies and the deer love bean plants also, which caused much sadness last year. I'm hoping my improved protection will be adequate this year!
 
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Great to have you join us, Suzan. Of all the things that are easy to keep without cooking or freezing, beans in grain is the most nutritious. It is a great staple to have on hand.
 
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Welcome from Down Under . We grow a lot of various beans in southern Australia . Last year we had a veritable forest of broad beans/ fava beans  . Processing those takes a whole day what with blanching, shelling and packaging beans in meal size quantities for the freezer . The material left over is dug back in as a green manure , That ensures the fertility of my soil . I love a closed loop growing system without bringing in too much from outside our property . Snow peas and sugar peas get processed at the same time too . Then the Spring beans ….wow, what diversity of seeds I can source from a Melbourne-based seed saver network . My grandson loves ‘magic beans ‘ , the purple runner beans that turn green when cooked .” Pa, you’re just magic “ , he says .Beanz Meanz Life .  Cheers from Down Under
 
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If you had to choose one type of bean (or two at most) to grow in your garden, which one(s) would it be? And why? Nutrition content, ease of growing, etc...

I am starting a garden from scratch and am trying to decide what to plant.

Thank you!
 
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Welcome Susan!  Am really looking forward to your book. I currently grow YinYang (Calypso) and love them. Have given store bought pinto beans a try and had some success. Tried Mother Stallard, but no success that year. Going for Provider bean this year. Gets really hot and dry in SW OK. So have to mulch and water often. Thanks.
 
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Welcome from Panama Susan.  :) I'm going to make a Post in Beans, as to Sprouting them.
 
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Beans, beans, good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you . . . uh, get rid of uncomfy gas buildup . . . and there's more room on the inside than the outside, etc.
Ah, old time wisdom.
Bugs also like beans. If I don't put lightweight tulle fabric over young Scarlet Runner beans and other tasty things, something gets to them.
The Google says that beans provide us with protein, fiber, iron, and antioxidents. My Southern husband was raised on red beans and cathead biscuits. My family ate white beans and Yankee biscuits.
Food may be getting scarce this year. We all need to buy buy buy bean seeds.
 
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Hi and welcome! Im excited to learn about this book, and looking forward to exploring it!
 
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Welcome Susan!!!  
Thank you for writing such an awesome book.   In this day and age we need more subsistence storage crops to get though the winter months.  I will enjoy reading the whole book as there are always more to learn about plants.  The bean family is very large and I am looking forward to trying out some new varieties!!!  Thanks again:)
 
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"Don't know beans when the bag's open" No pun intended LOL

Hello.
I would like to know more about beans. Thank you
 
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Welcome Susan thanks for sharing your time and expertise.
 
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Here and Now
by Maj

If you think
you cannot find me
I am in your garden
come and look
nestling in nasturtium
breathing green in a
broad bean nook
drenched in a
champagne of dew
I sit next to your plants
encouraging them
with you.

 
Susan Young
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Michael McCord wrote:If you had to choose one type of bean (or two at most) to grow in your garden, which one(s) would it be? And why? Nutrition content, ease of growing, etc...

I am starting a garden from scratch and am trying to decide what to plant.

Thank you!


Now there's a difficult question!  How can I choose one type of bean? - and thank you for allowing me two at most!  I confess every year my favourite bean changes, but if I had to grow one bean - probably it would be the Greek Gigantes.  This is a phaseolus coccineus (from the runner bean family) and like many runner beans bred in South Eastern Europe, it produces huge white beans.  There are usually only around 4 big beans in each short chunky pod.  These are just completely delicious when cooked in tomato sauce.  I can overwinter it because coccineus are perennial.  My plants are now into their third year.  In my UK climate I have to lift them (some people living in very mild areas might be able to leave them in the ground earthed up, to overwinter) and then re-pot them in Spring.  At this time of the year they are sprouting well and soon ready to plant out, if I can be sure no late Spring frosts will arrive.  They are vigorous plants with lovely white flowers.  

Because I'm allowed two at most - I shall add a black bean that I brought back from Mexico several years ago.  It's unusual in that it throws up a lot of vines around 5, 6ft high.  It's very vigorous and then produces wonderful little lilac flowers.  Every year it flowers late and I don't think I'll get a crop before the frost arrives, but then the pods form quite quickly.  It's also amazingly good in cold weather and is often still standing when other Mediterranean beans have given up in the Autumn weather.  It comes from the mountains above Oaxaca and like a lot of beans grown in the mountains, it's used to our cold, UK, chilly climate.  I harvest the beans to eat fresh at all stages and they are wonderful colours.  I usually get quite a few I can dry, although not as many as I would like.  I've tried growing it under cover - and it did well in a large greenhouse I use for veg growing - but it was so rampant, it threatened to swamp everything close by.  

Happy bean growing and thanks for a great question that I enjoyed answering!  
 
Susan Young
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Food may be getting scarce this year. We all need to buy buy buy bean seeds.


This last point you added to your interesting message - is a very important one.  

I am a member of the Global Bean Project (google it to find out) and we are currently discussing the food crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, but to which many other pre-existing factors also contribute.  I have written a piece for their newsletter (link below) which discusses how replacing meat with beans could be part of the solution.  


https://www.2000m2.eu/war-in-ukraine-and-the-food-crisis-a-search-for-demand-side-action/
 
Susan Young
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[ Unfortunately both the bunnies and the deer love bean plants also, which caused much sadness last year. I'm hoping my improved protection will be adequate this year!

Deer! - you have my sympathies.  We have deer too.  We live in a beautiful part of England, close to the Welsh border in an area with a large natural forest (Forest of Dean) but there are deer who come stomping through my garden at night.  And yes, they LOVE bean plants.  I think they love peas best of all, but beans are a close second.  There is nothing for it but to erect poles with netting all around the areas I want to grow vegetables in.

I have seen on Youtube a system of poles and then just fishing line spanned, tight between them at certain heights.  Not a lot of thread but enough that the deer bump into it and are deterred.  Have you heard of that method?  What method of protection do you use?  

I don't, thankfully, have rabbits - although there are a lot around here, they don't seem to come into my garden.  Perhaps there are too many foxes and they keep the numbers down.

 
Susan Young
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Sat Atma Khalsa wrote:To make beans easier to digest, you can add epazote, a Mexican herb. There is a European herb as well, what is it called in english? Bean herb?  Aah, no, it is called savory.



I haven't tried epazote - but I do grow savoury (which, yes, is called Bean Herb in Dutch - athough I can't remember exactly how it's spelt in Dutch).  It is supposed to also help to cook them with seaweed - kombu - which we do sometimes as it has a nice flavour.   I'm not sure that any of these methods makes that much difference - but now that I'm used to eating beans, I don't have any digestion issues at all.  

As I'm sure you know, but to include the information on this thread -  if anyone is not used to eating beans regularly, it's a good idea to build up the bacteria required in the gut by eating small quantities at first and gradually increasing.   And of course the bacteria and windiness from the gas they produce (odourless by the way - it's other foods in the diet,  such as eggs and meat that cause any whiff) - is part of what makes beans so good for us, health-wise.  
 
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I never knew that savory had anything to do with making beans digestible, but I have never had a problem with that anyway. I do know that if you tie up a bundle of green beans with a little sprig of savory in the middle, brush it with olive oil and throw it on a hot grill for a few minutes that good isn't a strong enough word to describe the result. Any large pod green bean will work but runner beans with savory are like bean manna.
 
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Hi Susan. Not so long ago I saw an interview Maddy Harland had with you (on beans and on this new book). And now you're here at Permies! Welcome!
My plan for this year is to grow a few different beans at the allotment garden. I have large purple-and-black beans that will grow as Scarlet Runner Beans and meant to be eaten as string beans. Then there are somewhat smaller beans in a spotted pattern of purplish brown and creamy white; they will be climbing plants too. Those have to stay until the beans are dry. And then I'll plant those small greenish-white beans that will become Haricots Verts, growing as bush beans, .
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Susan Young wrote:

Sat Atma Khalsa wrote:To make beans easier to digest, you can add epazote, a Mexican herb. There is a European herb as well, what is it called in english? Bean herb?  Aah, no, it is called savory.



I haven't tried epazote - but I do grow savoury (which, yes, is called Bean Herb in Dutch - athough I can't remember exactly how it's spelt in Dutch).  ....  


Oh, you mean Bonenkruid! My mother used to add it to cooked broad beans, but I did not like the taste then (as a child).
 
Susan Young
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Oh, you mean Bonenkruid! My mother used to add it to cooked broad beans, but I did not like the taste then (as a child).


That's it!  You know the name.  
 
Susan Young
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:Hi Susan. Not so long ago I saw an interview Maddy Harland had with you (on beans and on this new book). And now you're here at Permies! Welcome!
My plan for this year is to grow a few different beans at the allotment garden. I have large purple-and-black beans that will grow as Scarlet Runner Beans and meant to be eaten as string beans. Then there are somewhat smaller beans in a spotted pattern of purplish brown and creamy white; they will be climbing plants too. Those have to stay until the beans are dry. And then I'll plant those small greenish-white beans that will become Haricots Verts, growing as bush beans, .



And I've been on Radio 4 and in the Saturday Guardian - the book seems to be timely -

Thank you for your welcome.  

I love the way you talk of 'beans with a spotted pattern of purplish brown' and those 'small greenish-white' ones - - that's surely how beans were always grown and no one fussed too much about names.   I bought some beans in a restored Victorian garden on Guernsey and they were simply called 'beans red' and 'beans brown' - I think, in fact, the red ones are the Guernsey runner, which I'd been hoping to find.  But the brown ones, I haven't a clue.  I have some 'green ones' and 'speckled ones' that I don't know the correct names for - - and I can't get too concerned about whether I have the absolutely correct name for the correct variety, unless, I guess I am gifting them to someone else or giving to a seed swap.  
 
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Hi Susan!  Welcome to Permies.  This is a great community and I can't wait for more knowledge from you.
 
Christopher Shepherd
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It sure is great to see all the excitement over beans.  Come over and check out the bean forum https://permies.com/f/477/beans

There are a bunch of new threads and posts on beans!
 
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I would love to hear more about how one can grow enough beans in a small space to create useful quantities in a smaller suburban plot.

Best,
Juliana

Have you tried growing beans in containers?  You need quite a large container to give them a deep enough root run, but they would be perfectly happy.  Beans are pretty unfussy growers.  You'd need to water them well when the beans are forming.  Climbing beans will provide a bigger crop in relation to space than dwarf beans, so be sure you grow a climbing bean (although dwarf beans crop in less time, so you could conceivably get 2 crops in during a growing season, if you live in a warm climate).  I'd also select a bean that grows taller than some, and that would carry a bigger crop - and also a bigger bean.  One of my current favourite beans is called schneekappchen - it's a South German bean, from the mountainous region, so pretty tough and it's a big, bean with quite a lot in a pod.  So if you grew that one (assuming you can find the bean seeds) then I think you'd get the maximum crop for your space. It's also really pretty - the flowers are white with a pale lilac tinge - so it would look good in your small yard!  
 
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