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Fri Jul 25, 2014, 09:50 AM

Beans are so easy! (and much more fun than watching blight spread across my tomato plants)

I wanted to focus on just a few crops this year and learn much more about them and the best ways to grow them. I planted Maxibels (a filet bean like Provider) and they did fine. I have picked some of the plants 4 times and they just keep going. The second picking was bigger than the first and now you can just stick your hand in and pull out 4 to 6 beans at a time. From direct seed to beans in about 52 days. Didn't spray anything. Had some Japanese beetles but they didn't do much damage and are gone now.

Not many people growing them for sale here and I am told that many just don't want to do all that picking. Filet beans are selling out at $5 a pound at local farmer's markets.

I'm also growing edamame (Midori Giant), Coban and Tavera extra fine haricot vert. The deer took all of the edamame, every single plant nibbled down to stubs but the Coban and Taveras are doing great -- sturdy bush bean plants loaded with thin straight beans.

I am considering renting a machine to pick next year if I find a customer who can take 2 acres worth of green beans (about 200,000 plants). This year is just fine tuning, testing cultivars and growing enough for samples. The machine picks 50 pounds per minute.

I grew 40 different things last year (tomatoes, garbonzos, zuke, onions, potatoes, strawberries, carrots, etc) and beans were the easiest so I went forward with beans. At $5 a pound they are a much better, easier and more profitable crop than tomatoes or anything else I have found.



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Reply Beans are so easy! (and much more fun than watching blight spread across my tomato plants) (Original post)
KurtNYC Jul 2014 OP
NRaleighLiberal Jul 2014 #1
KurtNYC Jul 2014 #2
NRaleighLiberal Jul 2014 #3
Curmudgeoness Jul 2014 #4
KurtNYC Jul 2014 #5
Curmudgeoness Jul 2014 #6

Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Fri Jul 25, 2014, 09:53 AM

1. Maxibel are a great variety. I like Jade a lot as well - and this

year am enjoying Cosmos and Rockport (both from Johnnys).

Nice!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 25, 2014, 10:17 AM

2. Cosmos look good

The Maxibels tend to curl which makes prep difficult so I am looking for straighter beans. Taveras have the best texture and taste of my current group.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 25, 2014, 10:56 AM

3. Jade and EZ Pick are very long and straight...

Cosmos too.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Fri Jul 25, 2014, 01:38 PM

4. Because I am ignorant of large scale farming,

I have to ask.....if you pick the beans by machine, would that mean you could only harvest the plants once instead of the several times you are doing now? Wouldn't the machine destroy the plants?

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #4)

Sat Jul 26, 2014, 08:02 AM

5. Yes. The machine destroys the plants

So you need a variety that is a bush bean and that has a significant number of beans ready to harvest at once. Because beans are >60 days from seed to harvest you can plant again and get a second harvest from the same field in the same season.

Here is one of the more common green bean machines for small farmers in action. This one is about $40,000:


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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #5)

Sat Jul 26, 2014, 02:05 PM

6. I am always amazed at mechanical harvesting.

I am at a loss to understand how a machine can do such a clean job of separating the bean (or corn or whatever) from the rest of the plant. That is pretty slick.

But when you talk about how much more beans you have after the first harvest, it seems such a shame to only have the one harvest. I just bought some beans at the Amish produce stand yesterday. I assume they were hand picked, but you never know.

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