Last year after we harvested all the Blue Lake bush beans we wanted I let the plants go to seed for my spring garden. I planted the saved seeds this year 1st week of May and we had a very good crop of Blue Lake bush beans.
55 years ago my family always saved seeds they put dry bean pods in a large bag and beat it against a tree. Dumped them out on a bed sheet in a strong wind most of the pods and dust blow away. I tried that last year it did not would as well as I remember it 55 years ago. I also learned beans dried in the pods have lots of black mold rot problems about 70% of my bean seeds were bad.
Several weeks ago we had all the beans we need so I let the beans go to seed. Green bean pods get very large then turn yellow and feel soft and puffy. I can feel the beans inside this is the best time to harvest before pods dry crispy hard on the seeds. The soft pods open easier on 1 side than the other, pods peal open easy and beans push out easy with 1 finger.
2 days ago we had flash flood rain all day 4.4" of rain. The next day was too muddy to harvest seeds so today I harvested seeds. There are a lot of seeds germinating and growing roots inside the pods from all the rain and humidity. I don't remember having that problem in Illinois when I was 16 years old. Maybe that is why I never see soy bean fields in TN, farmers in IL always leave soy beans in the field to dry before harvest. This must be a geographical location problem.
I am getting a lot of good bean seeds for next year. All I really need for next years garden is about 500 good bean seeds. I plan to save all the seeds I can save. My grandmother use to cook a pot of white beans with all the extra bean seeds. The soft white beans are about the size of, grocery store pinto beans in a can, they sure are good.