Rockwell Bean harvest August 20

1 (Large)This is my first year growing beans that are in the category of ‘dry beans’.  I went to a local program in January to learn more about growing ‘dry beans’ in the northwest.  The head of Ag research for Washington State University spoke about the history of dry beans and research in our area.  She was particularly interested in local varieties that families and farmers may have been growing for years in this area.

The Rockwell Bean is a local bean that has been grown on Whidbey Island since 1880, and is grown now by the Willowood farm.  I purchased a 16 oz bag, with a recipe attached, for $10.00.  They gave away samples for us to try in our gardens.  I planted about 30 beans in a four foot row.

2 (Large)Here is a bean pod after the plant has mostly dried in place and then after the plant was pulled and dried for about another week.3 (Large)Here is the dried bean pod when split open.  Each pod generally had 3 or 4 beans but some had more, some less.4 (Large)Really cute bean color, red and white. 5 (Large)Here is a pile of split bean pods 6 (Large)Here are the beans, slowly adding to the jar. 7 (Large) 8 (Large)Our total yield was about 1 cup for the four foot row.  Each bean is precious and I see now how many pods it must take to fill up a bag of dry beans like the ones I buy at the store!

The Rockwell Bean plants are bush beans, and I think if they were pole beans there would have been more pods per plant.  Some people like to grow bush beans since they don’t need to be staked, but in the home garden staking isn’t too difficult.  9 (Large)Totally organic.

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