After eating beans for a few weeks from my early August planting of Aunt Joanie beans, I have let the rest of the bean pods mature on the plants. The ripe (old, pale, tough) pods are not good to eat, but the beans are good to save for planting next year.
|Mature bean pods for seed-saving. PHOTO/Amygwh|
|Mature seeds set aside for drying. PHOTO/Amygwh|
|Diseased seeds will not be saved. See the spots? PHOTO/Amygwh|
Before storing the bean seeds for planting in another season, they need to be very dry. I leave the seed beans out on the counter to dry for several days (or more) until they are so dry that one hit by a hammer shatters instead of smashes.
As they dry, these beans will get smaller, and they also will turn to a gentle tan color. They really are beautiful beans!
When the seed-beans are very dry, I will make an envelope for them, label with the season they were grown in (Joanie Beans, Aug-Oct 2017), then store them in one of my airtight containers in the fridge. Next year, or even five or six or more years from now, these seeds will still be good for planting.