Dry Bean Seed Saving
Just by harvesting your dry beans, you are saving seed. Dry beans are probably the easiest crop from which to save seed. The very same beans that you eat can be planted and grown the next year. However, make sure the beans you are buying are untreated as sometimes they are processed so they will not sprout. Any of Cedar Circle’s dry beans can easily be planted in your garden!
Saving the Seed
Observe your crop throughout the summer. Watch for the bean variety that seems to do the best in your garden. Don’t save seeds for growing next year if the plant is struggling significantly in the conditions of your garden.
- Wait to harvest any seeds until the bean plant has died back in your garden. Alternately, if you anticipate that the beans will not have enough time to dry completely, you can clip the bean plant at ground level and allow the plant to dry inside your home, barn or other well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight.
- Once the plant is completely dry and you can hear the bean seed rattling in its pod, you can manually remove the seeds from each pod. This process is called threshing. This can be a labor intensive process. You can also put the pods in a grain bag and shake and smash vigorously. When you open the bag, the beans should be mostly separated from their pods.
- You can winnow and sort the beans by hand simply by separating out anything that is not a bean. If the bean plants were completely dry before threshing, no further drying should be necessary.
Store the beans in a cool and dry location away from direct sunlight.
This is just the beginning of your seed saving forray! To learn more, visit our page on Seed Saving.