Beans, Beans, They’re Good for Your Heart…

Our seed library carries 11 varieties of beans from 3 separate species. Most are from the Phaseolus vulgaris genus/species and in that group 3 are shell beans and 6 are “snap” beans. The other two each have their own genus/species (soy and fava beans).

Snap beans are those planted to provide immature edible pods – both green and yellow for possible use in our Thanksgiving favorite: green bean casserole. If you are confused, be aware that there are enough species and uses of beams to satisfy the most exacting taste buds.
Once you’ve chosen a variety or two to plant, consider saving some seeds for next year’s garden. Bean flowers are self-pollinating but this doesn’t guarantee that bees or other insects won’t cross pollinate on occasion. Sources recommend that careful documentation of seeds saved and observation of subsequent vegetable differences (color of pods for instance) will warn you whether a cross strain has developed in your saved seeds. To ensure future purity of seed properties, discard this year’s and last year’s seeds of the same variety in which you have found a new property.

Obtain new seeds of that variety or return to seeds from two years prior. To prevent cross-pollination at the outset, bag, or cage the blossoms until the small bean pods appear.

To save bean seeds, identify the healthiest plants and allow pods to dry on the plant or harvest the entire plant and hang upside down in a warm but airy location until the beans are dry. Ensure the beans are fully dry before packing in containers for future plantings. (Return some to your Growing Westside Seed Library if you wish). Happy Gardening!

Partial Growing West Side Seed Library Bean Inventory

Black Turtle Dry,  Phaseolus vulgaris,  Shell bean
Gold Rush,  Phaseolus vulgaris,  Waxed yellow beans
Soy Beans,  Glycine max,  Shell (dry) beans
French beans,  Phaseolus vulgaris,  Snap Green string beans
Empress,  Phaseolus vulgaris,  Snap Green string beans
Orca,  Phaseolus vulgaris,  Shell (dry) bean
Fava,  Vicia faba,  Shell (dry) beans
Dutch Stringless,  Phaseolus vulgaris,  Snap green string bean
Tigers Eye, Phaseolus vulgaris,  Shell (dry beans)
Masai Bush Haricots Vert, Phaseolus vulgaris,  Snap green string beans