Disclaimer:  All information on this site is for informational purposes only.  Before using any alternative remedy, begin any new exercise routine or otherwise start trying any of the recipes included on these pages, check with your primary health provider.  Many herbs, foods, and exercises can conflict with medications you are taking or have unknown side effects.

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Drying Beans

We don't often grow beans that need to be dried for storage, but for those that are thinking about it, I thought I'd add a few words here about the process. Actually, there really isn't a process; all you really need is patience.

The preferred way of drying beans is simply let them stay on the vine until the plant and the bean pods are brown and dry.  Once they are dry, pull up the beans, remove the pods and compost the remains. Vine dried beans are simple to hull, just break the pods apart along the seams and let the beans fall into a bowl.

If you just can't resist pulling the plants before they turn dry and brown, there are a few other ways to dry beans. You can pull the plants, tie them together in bunches and hang them upside down in a shed or garage until the pods brown and dry. Open a couple of screened windows to keep the air moving inside. The key here is airflow, the bean pods will mold if you don't have a source of fresh air.

Or you could pick all the bean pods off the plant and lay them out in a single layer on newspaper and let them dry that way.  Again the key is airflow, make sure you place the pods in an area where the temperature is consistent and the air flows freely. Sheds, garages and screened porches all work well.

Once the pods have fully dried, remove the beans from a pod, *freeze or heat*, and store the dried beans in quart mason jars, plastic freezer bags or any type of air-tight container. The beans will be good for at least a year.

*Words to the wise*:

Many books recommend that you either A) freeze the beans for a week after drying or B) place the dried beans on a cookie sheet and place in a warm oven overnight. The reason for these suggestions is bugs. Tiny little mealy bugs that will eat away at your dried beans until you have nothing left but bean powder and bug excrement. Not at all palatable. 

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Kat and Kevin Yares

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