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Collecting your own dried beans
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Blue Peter



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 2400
Location: Milton Keynes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 09 10:55 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I've thought about growing beans for drying, but I wonder about how much energy it takes to cook dried beans. I would have thought that it was far more efficient to cook on an industrial scale, and tinned beans do seem very cheap. Has anyone looked into it?


Peter.

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 09 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Large scale cooking will be more efficient but there are more steps to get it to your door:

Transport, store, cook, can, storage, transport, storage, distribute, store/sales, transport, home.

And I find them quite expensive but I'm a cheapskate.

Gra



Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 09 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Be careful of leaving peas to dry on the plant, I did this once and came back and they were all gone - I assume mice!

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5436
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 09 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Blue Peter wrote:
I've thought about growing beans for drying, but I wonder about how much energy it takes to cook dried beans. I would have thought that it was far more efficient to cook on an industrial scale, and tinned beans do seem very cheap. Has anyone looked into it?


Peter.


When you are cooking your own dry beans, they cook much faster than dry beans from the store, as those are usually a couple years old, and much drier. Add to this the ease of cooking them after an overnight soak, and you're really not talking about much cooking time. I have a friend who always cooks his beans with a pressure cooker, it's super fast.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5436
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 09 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Collecting your own dried beans Reply with quote    

Ian33568 wrote:
I have just spent a lovely hour on the terrace splitting the pods of dried beans, first time this year and will probably only get around 5 kilos. Although very time consuming, it will be a good feeling next time we have a bean salad or paté made with our own beans.

Does anyone else?


I used to split bean pods by hand, until I started doing enough beans that it became too frustrating and time consuming, and I decided I needed an easier way. After a quick look at how folks used to do it, I felt sheepish not thinking to thresh them earlier. Now I just throw all the dry pods into a bag, and either swing that bag into something hard repeatedly, or if it's really large, hang it from a tree and smack it with something like a broomstick. The pods split right open if thoroughly dried, and the beans fall to the bottom of the bag. You can pull out the empty pods from the top, or if you are doing a lot of beans you can use a burlap sack with a hole in the bottom that has been tied up, then you can just open the bottom and let the beans fall out, leaving you with a sack full of dried pods for the compost, etc...

It can be worthwhile to glance through the leftover pods as some beans cling tenaciously to their sleepingbags.

ksia



Joined: 17 May 2006
Posts: 2320
Location: Mayenne, France
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 09 12:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Collecting your own dried beans Reply with quote    

Slim wrote:


I used to split bean pods by hand, until I started doing enough beans that it became too frustrating and time consuming, and I decided I needed an easier way. After a quick look at how folks used to do it, I felt sheepish not thinking to thresh them earlier. Now I just throw all the dry pods into a bag, and either swing that bag into something hard repeatedly, or if it's really large, hang it from a tree and smack it with something like a broomstick. The pods split right open if thoroughly dried, and the beans fall to the bottom of the bag. You can pull out the empty pods from the top, or if you are doing a lot of beans you can use a burlap sack with a hole in the bottom that has been tied up, then you can just open the bottom and let the beans fall out, leaving you with a sack full of dried pods for the compost, etc...

It can be worthwhile to glance through the leftover pods as some beans cling tenaciously to their sleepingbags.


Interesting tip there. Ta Slim.

Went



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 6968

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 09 1:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Collecting your own dried beans Reply with quote    

Slim wrote:
Ian33568 wrote:
I have just spent a lovely hour on the terrace splitting the pods of dried beans, first time this year and will probably only get around 5 kilos. Although very time consuming, it will be a good feeling next time we have a bean salad or paté made with our own beans.

Does anyone else?


I used to split bean pods by hand, until I started doing enough beans that it became too frustrating and time consuming, and I decided I needed an easier way. After a quick look at how folks used to do it, I felt sheepish not thinking to thresh them earlier. Now I just throw all the dry pods into a bag, and either swing that bag into something hard repeatedly, or if it's really large, hang it from a tree and smack it with something like a broomstick. The pods split right open if thoroughly dried, and the beans fall to the bottom of the bag. You can pull out the empty pods from the top, or if you are doing a lot of beans you can use a burlap sack with a hole in the bottom that has been tied up, then you can just open the bottom and let the beans fall out, leaving you with a sack full of dried pods for the compost, etc...

It can be worthwhile to glance through the leftover pods as some beans cling tenaciously to their sleepingbags.


Now you tell me I would imagine that is very therapeutic as well

Nanny



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 4520
Location: carms in wales
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 09 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i hsall have to give my dried veg a go then even if it is for seed...

i grow alderman peas so the mice might have left the pods alone as they are some 6 ft off the ground.....

tomorrow's gardening job...

pick
stick in airing cupboard
wait

Gra



Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 09 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Runner beans might not go nice and dry outside before the autumn rains come but just pick the ones that have well developed beans in them, take the beans out and set them out to dry inside.
A note of warning, I left Broad beans and peas on the plants to dry off, in order to save the seed, only to go back after they started to turn brown and find them all gone - I assume mice got them. Sometimes its better to pick them still a bit green and dry them indoors.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14971
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 09 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've left it too long to harvest some of my borlottis, and they are well on the way being dried. How will I know when they are dry enough to pack into jars without going mouldy, and how do I cook them afterwards? And overnight soak and a an hour in a stew is my usual method - is this OK for borlottis

Millymollymandy



Joined: 23 Sep 2005
Posts: 187
Location: Brittany, France
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 09 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I don't know about the cooking them but I would do a fast boil for 10 mins to be on the safe side (but I would also google to check). It's my first year with dried borlottis and I shelled them into a bowl which I left on the kitchen table for several weeks, turning them occasionally. Now they're packed into airtight containers and I hope for the best. Just playing it by ear really!

Must go and pick those runners!

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 09 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's what we do with our home grown dried beans, fast boil for 10 mins, change water and then cook 'till soft. As for drying we dry them on the plants for as long as possible, keeping and eye on them if it's wet as the pods can go mouldy, and then pick, shell and leave in bowls to dry. We don't grow enough to store, as we use quite a few.

loopy



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 109
Location: St Ives, Cambridgeshire
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 09 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i'm getting confused now...i grew a lot of runner bean plants this year, and stopped picking them at the start of september as i wanted to try to harvest beans for seed for next years crop and also to try drying the surplus for stews etc....but i was told that i should not take the beans out of the "pods" until the pods were papery....now as i live in england we have not had enough hot weather, they are big and fat and still green so should i ...

1) harvest the beans into bowls as some people have mentioned on here? (we tried picking a couple last week but when they dried they shrunk significantly and went very wrinkly and didn't look at all like the size/appearance of the shop bought bean seeds that i started the crop with)

2) pull the pods off the plants and store them in a greenhouse or similiar? or store them indoors on window ledges? (until they go papery?)

3) i have an electric dehydrater...so could put the bean seeds in there - would speeding up the drying process help? or would this be too warm? its the italian one, nova something? from ascotts....

4) any other ideas???

appreciate any helpful suggestions as expect frosts within the next 2 weeks here...

thanks L

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 09 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Another idea, depending on how many you have, would be to pick, shell, cook for a few mins, and freeze in portions.

loopy



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 109
Location: St Ives, Cambridgeshire
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 09 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

if i could freeze them i would...but the 503 litre chest freezer is already full of sliced runner beans, courgettes, mange tout, and about half a pig....and also have 2 other full freezers now from produce....hence why i stopped picking the runners about 6 weeks ago lol ....having made lots of bean/chilli chutney the only other thing left is to dry the remainder....but no way they will go papery now so need to know what i should do for the best before the frosts come!

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