Friday, August 20, 2010

Low-tech beans

  Our farm is as much a homestead as it is a "for market" production farm.  This means many of the things we grow or do are just for ourselves.  Dry beans, for example.  When we moved to this farm three years ago we had enough garden space to experiment with growing a larger variety of our own food.  So we pulled some dry beans out of the pantry and planted them.  To our delight, the kidney, black, pinto, white beans and black-eyed peas all gave a pretty good yields.  We've yet to have any luck with chick peas.
  Without a combine to harvest the crop, we were left with low-tech options.  So we hand pulled the dried plants and put them in feed sacks.  Then this week, we finished the final steps of getting the beans back into the pantry.  Since the plants were good and dry it took only a couple minutes of beating with a bat or stick for the beans to fall out of the pods and to the bottom of the bag.  The empty plants were lifted out of the sack and the beans were poured into a bowl.  Then we winnowed them in front of a fan to get the chaff out.  Before using them, the beans will just need a once over to make sure they are fully clean.

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