opabinia51
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Heirloom Beans

I want to try growing some different varieties of beans. To date, the only beans that I have grown are Green and purple snap beans and Scarlett Runner Beans.
Does anyone have any recommondations? I'm more interested in dry beans and not snap beans. I'm definately going to grow Crannberry next year. :idea: :)

opabinia51
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Asparagus

Yes, might as well tack this one on as well. (rather than starting a whole new topic :wink: )
I planted asparagus berries that I recieved from my neighbour this year in a raised bed. My hopes are that the seeds in the berries will germinate in the spring and develop into asparagus. Has anyone had any success in doing this?
Or would you recommend just buying the seeds in the spring?

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Never ventured into asparagus (yet), but most folks I know do them from sets rather than seed; just quicker (and I mean years quicker).

If those berries take (no one I talked to had done them from the berries, so we're not sure what the success rate might be), you will wait at least two more seasons AFTER this one for your harvest (oh, you might take one or two spears in year three, but more than that will stunt the plant) OR you could plant the sets, skip a harvest and get them the year after. Anyway it goes, this is a waiting game; kind of makes you appreciate them more, doesn't it :?:

Scott

opabinia51
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Yes well, that is what gardening is all about, isn't it? I had anticipated not harvesting anything next year as my neighbour (and the literature that I have read to date) said that it's best to let the plants get established first. One thing is for sure, when I finally do get asparagus I sure will be that much more appreciative of them!

opabinia51
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Back to BEANS:

I went to SEEDY SATURDAY this past weekend (an Heirloom Seed Symposium) and acquired Anassazi Beans, a packet of mixed Fava Beans, A blue variety of dry bean. Royal Purple Beans and another bean called: Ireland Creek Annie Bean. And of course, I have my Scarlett Runners, Green Wax, and purple wax beans from last year.

Here is a great note on Beans. Beans are companion plants to corn. So, when you plant your corn, wait until the young plants poke through the soil then, plant a bean at the base of the corn. The beans will feed the corn and grow up the side of the corn plant. (No need for a stake. Bonus)

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That's the old Hopi way to plant them; primitive tech strikes again!

Remember this the next time someone is trying to sell you a new fangled gadget or some hi-tech fertilizer... Old School Rules! 8)

Scott

opabinia51
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Yes, it is amazing the things that we can learn from Ancient/Old Cultures. Actually, all of my ideas on companion planting and intermingling plants in rows comes from the horticultural practices of South American Natives. I recieved the information while taking an Environmental Studies course.

I think it is neat how the Corn plant supports the bean plant and the Bean plant feeds the corn plant. A sort of symbiotic relationship.

Oh my goodness!! I'm developing a baby ecosystem in my garden! What with all the beneficial insect attractors, mason Bee nests, mutualistic relationships between companion plants, you had better believe it! :D

Anyway, back outside to continue pruning my grapes.

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Good tip there Opa; now IS the time for pruning grapes (any later and they "bleed" out...

opabinia51
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Through a seed trade I recently acquired these beans:

Cherokee trail of tears
An unnamed Pinto-esque from 1885
Cranberry Beans
Tiger Eye Beans

Should be a great harvest this summer.

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Nice to hear the old heirlooms are still getting passed around...

Met a fella here a few months ago who used to be a nutrition prof at Yale; now retired and growing an acre or two of heirlooms with an eye twoards seed collection. That's nearly two acres of of one of this and one of that, Quite astonishing really. Over three hundred tomatoes alone! :o

Scott

opabinia51
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Wow, now I know that I have something to aspire to. But for now, I will be suffice with my 4 varieties of heirloom corn and.....(what, is it 8?) varieties of heirloom bean. Not to mention all my other seeds.

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Opa few of us are as dedicated or prepared (or as chronologically blessed) as John is; not sure I'd go there if I was! (I have no doubts about you, however... :lol: )

opabinia51
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Oh, I wouldn't have that many, my comment was meant in the context of wanting to increase my heirlooms. I don't think it would be possible to have as much as him. But, it would be nice to shoot for. Don't take things so literally.

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:shock:

Our resident scientific type sez don't be literal?! GASP! :wink:

:twisted:
HG

opabinia51
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On the topic of Legumes; people often think that it is the pea or bean plant that is doing all that lovely nitrogen fixation in the soil, it's not actually the plant at all, it is the work of bacteria that associate with the legume roots.


On that note, Scott, are Chickpeas considered to be a Legume? I recently acquired a load of them that have apparently been growin in Mesoptamia since ancient times.

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Is that chick peas in general Opa, or do you have a specific strain?

opabinia51
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The chickpeas that I have are a particular strain that I acquired through a seed exchange with a fellow gardener from Sweden for some Citron Melon seeds. Just planted them yesterday actually. 8)
The seeds themselves are not ancient but, the strain apparently is ancinet. (At least, according to the guy that I traded with.) :)

I have been reading about Legumes and apparently Chickpeas area legume. So Scott, are all legumes by definition harbours for Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria? :?
I read the other day that it is nodules in the roots of legumes that harbour the bacteria though, when pulling up my beans at the end of the year, I have noticed that only some of them have large bulbous roots. (Like Scarlett Runner Beans)

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I thought it was the family in general, but I'll have to check that...

opabinia51
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Well with this strain of brown chickpea (at least according to the guy that I got them from) they have been grown in some city that starts with an "A" (that really narrows it down :roll: ) in Mesoptamia for hundreds of years.
Being that these are brown chickpeas and not the white ones that everyone buys in the supermarket, I am assuming that it is just this strain. But, like I said; I have done no reasearch on this and am just taking the guys word for it.

Anyway, I planted them the day before yesterday (four rows!!!) and am looking forward to a bountiful harvest of both chickpeas and a plethora of dried beans this year. :D
Last edited by opabinia51 on Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Better alert everyone downwind this fall... :lol:

opabinia51
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Here is an answer to a question that I asked some time ago:


Q: Are chickpeas a legume?

ie) Do they attract Nitrogen fixing bacteria to their roots?


A: Yes. :idea:


So.... Yes, Chickpeas are legumes. There you have it folks. If you have nutrient depleted soil or just want to infuse your soil with some Nitrogen; plant peas, beans and (Yes) chickpeas. 8)

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And Crotalus is right about the seedsavers; good bunch, that...

opabinia51
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More on Beans:


Cover crops, everyone (or at least; every organically minded gardner) is always looking for the better winter cover crop(s). Well, I recently discovered Lima Beans. Yes, according to an organic gardening book that I recently purchased (5 dollars off plus a 10 percent discout. :) .. had to throw that one in there :wink: ) Lima Beans are a great cold weather crop to plant and of course, being a legume; the bacteria that associate with the roots of Lima Beans will Fix nitrogen and any excess nitrates that the plants don't use, go to the soil.
Also, the bonus is that in the spring you will have a crop of Lima Beans that you can eat!

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Some think that's a bonus and some do not... :wink:

Scott

opabinia51
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I'm curious as to why someone would think that a cover crop like Fava (not Lima but, I think that lima are actually a type of Fava Bean, correct me if I am wrong) Beans would not be good? Or is it something obvious like, well, the fact that they are beans? (HINT HINT WINK WINK)

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Lima beans are verboten at my house (Mama don't like...)

hg

opabinia51
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Really? Oh, that's to bad. I guess it is different strokes for different folks! I guess you could just do peas as a winter crop, though, I don't know how well they would do in the snow. Fava beans (apparently... at least according to that book that I have been toting) do just fine.

I actually have shelling peas as a green manure in my raised beds right now.

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