Saving for the future

With summer well and truly over and winter on the horizon, my thoughts start to turn to the 2018 growing season. I won’t be buying seeds for a while yet (although I plant my peppers and chillies as early as January, so that job is not too far away), but today I have been ensuring I have seeds for at least one crop next year.

One of this year’s big successes was climbing French beans. The original plants were destroyed by strong winds, and one of my friends came to the rescue with some spare plants that were just ready for transplanting (thank you Ann). I have completely forgotten what variety they are, but they produced delicious tender beans in abundance over a long season. Knowing how much we enjoyed them, I left some beans on the plants to mature and today I collected some of the drier pods from which to take the seeds to be saved:

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pods collected before they get washed away or rotted!

Over morning coffee, Mr Snail and I extracted the seeds and now they just need to be spread out to dry. So, that’s the first of next year’s bounty sorted… and not a penny spent.

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bean futures

What’s more, there are still quite a lot of pods to harvest, so I think tomorrow we will have Boston beans made, unusually, with freshly shelled beans (no soaking required).

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26 Comments

  1. Laurie Graves

     /  October 24, 2017

    And how lovely they are, too.

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  2. Great minds think alike! I have cines of peas and beans (broad, dwarf and climbing) hanging in the shed and will save the seeds but like you I think I have left more than enough so there will be bean stews to come as well. I love saving as much of my own seed as I can – it saves money and hopefully I am selecting for syitability for the conditions here.

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  3. Beans just keep on giving.

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  4. Ann Owen

     /  October 24, 2017

    I’m glad you liked them, they’re my absolute favourite beans! The only thing better about these beans than their flavour and texture is their name: Borlotti Lingua di Fuoco or Fire tongue! They are lovely to eat as green beans, better still as shelled beans and best of all in a warming chilli spiced stew on a cold winter’s day when the wind is howling outside. And open pollinated, so will come true from saved seed.

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  5. There is nothing to beat the perfect variety of bean! I remember from my childhood that’s what was done with everything in the vegetable garden – beans and peas left on the frames and one or two plants left to seed, the seed gathered, spread to dry and carefully labelled and packaged up in brown paper until it was time to plant out again. I love that you and so many others are gardening this way again!

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  6. Murtagh's Meadow

     /  October 24, 2017

    Nothing like harvesting your own seed:-)

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  7. We did the same with our runner beans. My 3 year old was delighted when I let her remove all of the beans from the pods!

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  8. We’ve been collecting runner bean seeds every year since we’ve lived here; they just keep on giving πŸ™‚

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  9. These sound perfect and are lovely to look at as well.

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  10. I wish our climate was more bean friendly. I used to grow loads of canellini beans when I lived in NSW, and I miss both the tender young pods and the dried beans.

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  11. Mmmmm, delicious! I do love French beans – and now that I know the name of the variety, I might try to make sure these end up in my parents’ veggie garden next year! Thanks! πŸ˜€

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  12. Although my garden struggled through the hot and dry summer, I did finally have a terrific crop of green beans (normally there’s barely enough for one serving). Unfortunately I was so excited to have enough for a few meals, I forgot to let them mature to the seed-saving stage. Oops. Guess it’s back to the seed catalog for me next year!

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  13. Those beans look so pretty!

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