The very first harvest at the beginning of summer is here! A few pods of red beans. I am going to cook these up, but hopefully will dry and save some as well.

Update: Saved about half of a mason jar from last year and they work just fine in early 2021. I made sure they were completely dry before storing them.

One use of a pantry stock of dried beans is to plant them. If intended for sprouts, the pantry version should actually be used. Seeds from a seed packet are often treated to prevent spoilage and enhance germination.

As one of the easiest garden plants to sprout and grow, plain dried beans germinate just fine. In fact, we had pretty well neglected our vines. Yesterday I checked on them. Here are the results!

We have a seemingly limitless supply of squirrels and deer. So this year, I planted these vines in terra cotta pots as close as possible to the back door.

Whenever I thought of it, I would shift them so that every few days they were in a slightly different spot. The critters did not damage them nearly as much, although we still lost a few leaves here and there.

I may pan-roast these pods or just chop them up and add to a stir fry. We will have a lot more coming. I planted a second batch last week and they are already producing leaves.

To dry them, I would just dry the pods until they split open, then remove the beans and dry them completely before storing. Beans and legumes are amazing in that from one seed, even a poor yield produces many more. You can then eat them or dry them and store them. Chickens love greens and the raw green pods too.

Interested in growing red beans? Check out this guide from Heirloom Organics.