Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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Clean Beans

Blue ribbon-winning black turtle beans grown by Courtney Byers of Waldo and shown in the Exhibition Hall of the Common Ground Country Fair

Blue ribbon-winning black turtle beans grown by Courtney Byers of Waldo and shown in the Exhibition Hall of the Common Ground Country Fair

October 4, 2018

How do you harvest and clean dry beans? In his article "Dry Beans – A Staple Crop Worth Growing," Will Bonsall says that he piles dead plants of mature bush beans on a tarp for threshing and then, using a flail, "I wale away at the pile until all the pods have shattered and the beans are in a dense heap at the bottom … For smaller crops I may just strip off the pods." He scoops up the resulting beans and pours them between two buckets in a gentle breeze to winnow them. "With pole beans I pick dry pods off the vines … I either dump the beans into a large galvanized washtub to trounce with my feet or I stuff them into a burlap bag and beat them with a flail or just a stick."

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