Ready For Next Year: Harvesting Dried Bean Seeds

The Summer of 2009 will always be known in our household as the Summer of Tiny Vegetables. Our corn was about 4 feet tall (and made MysteryMan’s grandpa chuckle), our tomato plants got eaten by giant caterpillars, our peppers were the size of golf balls, and our melons the size of grapefruits.

The one thing we did grow well, which fed me at least two meals a day for a week? Bush beans!

We had 10 green bean “bushes” this year, and even though they were small, they produced some serious beans– one of my favorite things to eat straight out of the garden. They were so good, in fact I decided I wanted these exact same beans next year, and hopefully for the rest of my life.

After some research on drying bean seeds for growing next year, I decided my favorite method of drying was going to be the “don’t to anything” method, which is about how I like things in the garden to go.

How do you do it?

Don’t. Do. Anything.

Seriously. All I had to do was refrain from eating every last bean. Difficult, but I managed. Then they began to dry out, and when they were all the way dry…

You just snap them off and peel them open…

Voila! Dried bean seeds.

I have enough to plant an entire crop of bean plants it seems but I’m going to try a staggered planting next year. We’re in Zone 5 and this handy guide says I can plant the seeds in June to harvest in August and September.

This year I planted small bean plants in early May, and was probably eating them in June and July, and of course had to stop gorging myself in August and September so I’d have some seeds to plant next year. I’d like to start a few seedlings indoors in April, and plant them in May again, and the sow some actual seeds in mid- June.

People, I could be eating beans every single day next summer. And that would be just fine with me.

I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.