Black Bean Harvesting Lesson

This year is the first year I’ve attempted to grow any type of bean other than basic, pole-climbing green beans. As with anything I try for the first time, I researched and tried to imbed as much knowledge as possible from others’ experiences. Mostly I learn through trial and error and now attempting to share such.

The biggest lesson learned is: its best to leave them alone. Leave the pods be to grow and dry on the vine. When the season is at end and it’s time to pull the plants out of the ground, that is when you harvest.

A cross selection of pods was harvested. I picked the dry ones, the burgundy ones, the half burgundy, and the green but-felt-fat-with-beans pods. I learned less is more, the dried pods were way more easily divested of their beans and letting them dry on the vine is less work because you’re picking one time.

I took some pictures as I was “processing” the beans.

Green pods are not ready, no matter how large the beans feel. They haven’t yet developed their black color.

The burgundy pods’ beans are black, but are very…fresh(?) and easily damaged when trying to pry open the pod.

The dry, desiccated pods have black and mostly dried, ready to finish drying beans that pop right out.

I still have some research to do. Like, is it okay to eat the ones that haven’t turned black? Should I toss them out? I’ve set them all to dry. More than likely this first year one pot of soup will be made out of some and the rest held for next year’s crop. This was the first harvest from an 8′ row. To actually have a worthwhile harvest, more need to be planted.

I can’t wait for next year, I’m going to do a multiple varieties of bean. So much for so little investment.