Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Harvesting Dry Beans -- Part II

After hand-pulling the beans, we use the newly-repaired combine to remove the beans from the plants. This is what the beans look like after some time on the wagons, drying. The time on the wagon ranges from a few minutes to a few days, depending on how dry they are as we pull them.

After the combine was repaired, the guys fashioned a wooden box that they mounted on the front of the combine. Typically, when the combine is driven through the field, it has a "head" that helps to pull the plants in. We took the head off, and parked the combine. It's a lot more work to hand-pull and hand-feed the plants into the combine. But this has not been a great year for the beans, and we want to take extra care to get every bean we can.

The combine separates the beans (seen falling into a tote inside the combine hopper below)...

...from the rest of the plant. The waste comes out of the back of the combine. This will be used for sheep bedding and/or composting.

So far, we've picked 11 of our 14 varieties. Some have yielded better than others. More to come later on how we clean them.

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