We planted four types of beans in the beginning of February (Northeaster, Christmas Lima, Yin Yang, and Egyptian Brown?? not too positive of the name on the last one there…), and roughly three months later came time for harvest! The Christmas Lima beans never really took off (whether from chickens, birds, or both), and the Egyptian Browns are still in full swing. The Northeasters, and Yin Yangs, however, both seemed to time perfectly!
This being our first year of planting, we decided to try a number of different varieties, so we could figure out what works well for the property, as well as what we like!
Purchased from the Diggers Club like many of our seeds, I was super interested in how these would go. Here in Warrnambool, we get a lot of wind, and these beans claim to not mind it! They were the first to shoot up, grew the biggest plants definitely over my height if the trellis allowed, and provided us with lots of fresh beans for dinner for a few weeks.
Eventually, the beans grew tougher, and the plant looked a bit worse for wear, so I decided to see how we would go waiting for the beans to dry out, and harvesting them for future plantings and soups. The waiting part I don’t quite have down right, and miiight have harvested them still a bit too early…but drying them out on racks inside for a few days seemed to do the trick.
Given enough time, slow cooked in a stew, these beans are like butter. Absolutely delicious, and moreish, and definitely a keeper! Now we just need to make sure we save some for next years planting…
Yin Yang Beans
Also purchased from the Diggers Club, I was really excited for these beans too. The beans we received to plant were perfect little yin yangs (though I also thought they look like mini killer whale pods…), and it’s been fun to see what the harvest looks like. Definitely not the perfect yin yangs showing, some with multiple dots, some with none, but fun to look at nonetheless!
I wasn’t quite so happy with the plants themselves, but figure that’s because they were squat little bush bean plants sitting (or falling over) next to the majestic Northeasters. I may try tying them up next time, if I’m worried about them falling all over the path again.
We didn’t end up eating any of these beans fresh (though apparently you can when they are young) as I wanted to make sure we’d have enough for planting next year. They surprised me when I went to harvest them at the end, as there were a lot more hiding there than I originally thought.
The next step is to “chop and drop” the rest of the finished plants onto the garden bed, so help prepare it even more for the brassicas during the veggie bed rotation come Spring. Repairing the soil, and harvesting many meals worth of legumes while we’re at it? Definitely a win-win situation, and one we hope to continue for many years to come!