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pioneer
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Welcome to Permies Susan,

any info on growing enough beans is always welcome.

Thanks,

Lana
 
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Beans beans the musical fruit we love beans. I mostly grow green beans. Kids love them raw more than cooked. Dry beans are fun for using as rockson a kids construction site! Lol I first introduced beans to my kids with a 2 lb bag of pinto beans from Walmart. They didn't eat them  but used their toy loaders and dump trucks to push them all over the living room. From there they fed them to the fish. Only then did they decide that beans were good to eat. They are 3 and 2. We took some and planted them. I want to know more because beans are a staple in our diet.  
 
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Susan Young wrote:

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.  


I found out one kind of bean can have different names. F.e. the 'purplish brown and creamy white' spotted beans are known here as 'borlotti boon', but also as 'kievitsboon'. And as I get most of the beans from a seed swap, I don't know the official name of the cultivar. There's one bean I got at the seed swap that has a name, it's a traditional Dutch name, this bean is called 'heilig boontje' ('holy bean'), it is cream-coloured with a dark shape around the 'eye' that looks like an angel.
 
pollinator
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Congratulations on your book Susan! What a timely subject! I am a big bean lover, I have been growing beans for shelling, ever since I went on vacation one spring and the friend who watered for me didn't pick any beans while I was away... came home to one heck of a seed crop!
I discovered the blue lakes made a very tender quick cooking bean for white hummus! I decided then my crop yielded a longer lived staple in the form of dry beans, I became far less concerned about green beans. A big FAT Roma being the exception 😉... and honestly my white whale. I've yet to find the variety I remember from the 60's in New Jersey.
Maybe it's like so many things from childhood they seemed bigger, because I was smaller.
Welcome to Permies!! Better than any encyclopedia!
Roxanne Sterling
 
pollinator
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Hello Susan!
Is the prize a physical book or an ebook? Any restrictions on winners location (outside the US of A)?
 
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Welcome, Susan!  

I love beans and have grown just a few varieties with some success. I'd love to get better at it and be more creative in using my harvest. I have added your book to my shopping cart on Amazon and I'm looking forward to reading it and learning from you.

Thanks for letting us know about your book and for offering copies to lucky winners!

~Sara
 
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Melissa Ferrin wrote:Hello Susan!
Is the prize a physical book or an ebook? Any restrictions on winners location (outside the US of A)?



I don't know the answer to either of your questions, I'm sorry.  The publishers have arranged the offer.  
 
Susan Young
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Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein wrote:Congratulations on your book Susan! What a timely subject! I am a big bean lover, I have been growing beans for shelling, ever since I went on vacation one spring and the friend who watered for me didn't pick any beans while I was away... came home to one heck of a seed crop!
I discovered the blue lakes made a very tender quick cooking bean for white hummus! I decided then my crop yielded a longer lived staple in the form of dry beans, I became far less concerned about green beans. A big FAT Roma being the exception 😉... and honestly my white whale. I've yet to find the variety I remember from the 60's in New Jersey.
Maybe it's like so many things from childhood they seemed bigger, because I was smaller.
Welcome to Permies!! Better than any encyclopedia!
Roxanne Sterling



Thank you for your congratulations Roxanne - I agree completely that the bean crop yields a longer lived staple in the form of dry beans.  We're still working through last year's dry bean store, together with the fresh ones I put into the freezer.  We will finish them by the time the next crop comes, and for two of us, I can easily grow enough dried beans to last the year.  

Of course, everything from our childhood seems bigger! - I  have in my memory a big long hill I had to walk on my way to primary school - only then, to revisit the road, and discover a short, gentle rise.  
 
Susan Young
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E Gottesman wrote:Beans beans the musical fruit we love beans. I mostly grow green beans. Kids love them raw more than cooked. Dry beans are fun for using as rockson a kids construction site! Lol I first introduced beans to my kids with a 2 lb bag of pinto beans from Walmart. They didn't eat them  but used their toy loaders and dump trucks to push them all over the living room. From there they fed them to the fish. Only then did they decide that beans were good to eat. They are 3 and 2. We took some and planted them. I want to know more because beans are a staple in our diet.  



I must add a word of warning.  

You say that 'kids love them raw more than cooked' - but beans, either green or when they are shelled - contain a toxin, lectin, which is destroyed when they are cooked.  Of all vegetables, beans are the one that is not good for us to eat raw.  The toxin is a common cause of food poisoning.  Kidney beans contain the most - cannellini beans also contain quite a lot, but all beans contain some.  

So BEANS SHOULD NOT BE EATEN RAW OR UNDERCOOKED -
 
E Gottesman
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Susan Young wrote:

E Gottesman wrote:Beans beans the musical fruit we love beans. I mostly grow green beans. Kids love them raw more than cooked. Dry beans are fun for using as rockson a kids construction site! Lol I first introduced beans to my kids with a 2 lb bag of pinto beans from Walmart. They didn't eat them  but used their toy loaders and dump trucks to push them all over the living room. From there they fed them to the fish. Only then did they decide that beans were good to eat. They are 3 and 2. We took some and planted them. I want to know more because beans are a staple in our diet.  



I must add a word of warning.  

Oops I meant they eat the green beans raw. They have tried the dry ones but end up spitting them out.
You say that 'kids love them raw more than cooked' - but beans, either green or when they are shelled - contain a toxin, lectin, which is destroyed when they are cooked.  Of all vegetables, beans are the one that is not good for us to eat raw.  The toxin is a common cause of food poisoning.  Kidney beans contain the most - cannellini beans also contain quite a lot, but all beans contain some.  

So BEANS SHOULD NOT BE EATEN RAW OR UNDERCOOKED -

 
Susan Young
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E Gottesman wrote:

Susan Young wrote:

E Gottesman wrote:Beans beans the musical fruit we love beans. I mostly grow green beans. Kids love them raw more than cooked. Dry beans are fun for using as rockson a kids construction site! Lol I first introduced beans to my kids with a 2 lb bag of pinto beans from Walmart. They didn't eat them  but used their toy loaders and dump trucks to push them all over the living room. From there they fed them to the fish. Only then did they decide that beans were good to eat. They are 3 and 2. We took some and planted them. I want to know more because beans are a staple in our diet.  



I must add a word of warning.  

Oops I meant they eat the green beans raw. They have tried the dry ones but end up spitting them out.
You say that 'kids love them raw more than cooked' - but beans, either green or when they are shelled - contain a toxin, lectin, which is destroyed when they are cooked.  Of all vegetables, beans are the one that is not good for us to eat raw.  The toxin is a common cause of food poisoning.  Kidney beans contain the most - cannellini beans also contain quite a lot, but all beans contain some.  

So BEANS SHOULD NOT BE EATEN RAW OR UNDERCOOKED -



Green beans are also mildly toxic when raw - I certainly don't risk it by eating them raw, and I would be concerned about children eating them raw.
 
pollinator
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Susan Young wrote:

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!”  



I grew a pretty decent crop of runner & French beans in a wooden planter with just over 6 ft trellis attached to the back. The only way I can grow is in containers until I can afford to buy a house with actual land. I didn’t get many beans at all from the dwarf ones I grew, but the climbing ones on the trellis produced loads. I forget all the varieties, but I had a red and a white flowered runner, dragon tongue/Lingua de Fuoco Borlotto beans, a purple podded French bean and a green podded French bean.

I don’t have a great pic, but that trellis in the back ground of this pic was the one with all the beans.

909CF3F3-0B94-47C5-9656-306951E2D7F3.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 909CF3F3-0B94-47C5-9656-306951E2D7F3.jpeg]
 
steward
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These four people climbed up Jack's beanpole to find the treasure of.... their own copy of Growing Beans: A Diet for Healthy People and Planet

Congratulations!

Dennis Barrow
Vickey McDonald
Allen Ayers
Nikki Roche


Winners, please keep an eye on your email inboxes for an email from the publisher to arrange your copy of the book! If you have a chance, it really helps the author if you can leave a review here on permies and maybe also on Amazon or Goodreads!

Big thank you to Susan Young for joining us this week! We hope you stick around, and we're so glad to have you here this week answering our questions!

To those that are bummed that you didn't win, here's a handy-dandy link to the book Growing Beans!
 
Susan Young
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Heather Gardener wrote:Not sure what happened on that last post, the comment that starts “Have you tried growing beans in containers?” is part of a quote too, by Susan Young I think.

My comment starts where I say “I grew a pretty decent crop of runner & French beans….”.

Sorry for any confusion, I’m not plagiarising, honest!



Hi Heather - it's tricky with this platform, I've discovered, to take out a sentence and respond to it . . .  

Great picture of where you grow your beans.  I've only grown dwarf beans in fairly large tubs - only for the reason that I didn't want to have to provide them with climbing supports and I've enough garden space to grow climbers.  You WILL get that large garden one day - or more than a garden if you dream of it?  We have two acres - a wild flower meadow and orchard with chickens, small wooded area, vegetable growing areas, fruit bushes and flowers (cottage style meets prairie I would say - - unkempt and a bit wild).  It's a south facing slope with a view of the Wye Valley beyond.  

But to get back to your beans in containers.  I'm very pleased that you posted that information because it confirms that they can be grown in small spaces and do perfectly well.  I've even seen a photo of someone growing climbing beans on an apartment balcony and training them high up the wall.  Did you need to water them a lot in the containers? - or perhaps, it looks as if the containers might have been in the shade of the wall and so didn't dry out?  
 
Heather Gardener
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Susan Young wrote:

Heather Gardener wrote:Not sure what happened on that last post, the comment that starts “Have you tried growing beans in containers?” is part of a quote too, by Susan Young I think.

My comment starts where I say “I grew a pretty decent crop of runner & French beans….”.

Sorry for any confusion, I’m not plagiarising, honest!



Hi Heather - it's tricky with this platform, I've discovered, to take out a sentence and respond to it . . .  

Great picture of where you grow your beans.  I've only grown dwarf beans in fairly large tubs - only for the reason that I didn't want to have to provide them with climbing supports and I've enough garden space to grow climbers.  You WILL get that large garden one day - or more than a garden if you dream of it?  We have two acres - a wild flower meadow and orchard with chickens, small wooded area, vegetable growing areas, fruit bushes and flowers (cottage style meets prairie I would say - - unkempt and a bit wild).  It's a south facing slope with a view of the Wye Valley beyond.  

But to get back to your beans in containers.  I'm very pleased that you posted that information because it confirms that they can be grown in small spaces and do perfectly well.  I've even seen a photo of someone growing climbing beans on an apartment balcony and training them high up the wall.  Did you need to water them a lot in the containers? - or perhaps, it looks as if the containers might have been in the shade of the wall and so didn't dry out?  



Oh wow, your place sounds perfect. A wildflower meadow & food forest are on my wish list, as well as regular garden space. I keep discovering all these cool permaculture things I want to try! I need a small farm probably for all the things I want to try to do. I like the wild style of things too. While I do appreciate the neatness of manicured rows of crops, I can’t help but relate more to the crazy plants that want to grow rampant over everything and live their best life.

My beans caught the sun fairly well, but they are quite close to the house and it’s a v small yard. I don’t remember them taking absurdly large volumes of water, but the compost is fairly deep. Watered every 3 days mostly, unless something was wilting or it was going to rain the next day. That year I was still hand watering and I wasn’t a fan of lugging about 10Litre watering cans unless I had to lol.

I’ve seen everything from tomatoes and egg plants/aubergines to beans and peas grown on balcony’s, it’s so cool what a little creativity can achieve.
 
Susan Young
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Nicole Alderman wrote:These four people climbed up Jack's beanpole to find the treasure of.... their own copy of Growing Beans: A Diet for Healthy People and Planet

Congratulations!

Dennis Barrow
Vickey McDonald
Allen Ayers
Nikki Roche


Winners, please keep an eye on your email inboxes for an email from the publisher to arrange your copy of the book! If you have a chance, it really helps the author if you can leave a review here on permies and maybe also on Amazon or Goodreads!

Big thank you to Susan Young for joining us this week! We hope you stick around, and we're so glad to have you here this week answering our questions!

To those that are bummed that you didn't win, here's a handy-dandy link to the book Growing Beans!



Congratulations to those who won a book - I hope you enjoy reading it and are inspired to grow lots more beans!  And thank you to everyone for all your interesting posts.  I've enjoyed responding and chatting beans.  And I hope there'll be many more bean chats to come.  I've already made one bean friend here in the UK and we've been swapping seeds. For sure I'll stick around!    

Thank you too for the suggestion that those who read the book might leave a review on Amazon or elsewhere - I'd appreciate that.  
 
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Wow, and yay!! I had thought about posting more in the bean forum this week, but I didn't feel I had much to add to the conversation. Besides my grandfather-in-law's landrace field pea, I've just begun venturing into growing beans. I'm excited to read the book!
 
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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 love epazote (Dysphania ambrosioides) ! Beans cooked without it are lacking something. Oh wait a moment..... they are lacking epazote!
And yeah, the Savory comes in two kinds, Summer Savory which is an annual, and Winter Savory which is a shrubby perennial like thyme.
I learned to call the annual plant 'Bean Herb' as well when I lived in the Netherlands.
 
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I won this book!  Thanks Susan and Permies!!

I have just started reading it and find it full of wonderful information!

Thanks again!!
 
Susan Young
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Dennis Barrow wrote:I won this book!  Thanks Susan and Permies!!

I have just started reading it and find it full of wonderful information!

Thanks again!!



Delighted to hear you find it full of useful information - - -

Have fun growing beans.

 
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