Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Black Turtle Beans

We spent a lot of time worrying and praying this summer. It feels like a long time ago, but this summer was exceptionally dry and hot. We wondered if we'd get a bean crop at all. The definition of trust is pulling weeds under the hot sun, even when it hasn't rained for weeks and you're not sure you'll even have anything to harvest.

Fast forward to today, and we've been harvesting the heirloom dry beans for about a month now. Some we do by hand (more about that later) and some we harvest with the combine. The black turtle beans stand up nice and tall, and are perfect for using the combine. Thank goodness.

So yesterday we started harvesting the black turtle beans. Black turtles are the bean you reach for when a recipe calls for a can of black beans. Most of us just know them by the "black bean" name. 

And this is how they grow. Many people think that beans are dried. Ours (and as far as I know, most beans) are not mechanically dried, but rather sun and wind dried, right out in the field. We pick them when they are like this--bean plant dead, bean pods rattling, and beans already dry. So they are not dried beans, but dry beans.

Rain overnight (which our parched soil needs). Shouldn't delay harvest at all--we should be able to head back out this afternoon after the plants dry off and harvest more.

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