Today's Q&A episode comes from Cindy and it's a question that I asked myself and had a hard time finding the answer to she asked I'm confused on harvesting beans like when do you harvest if you want pinto beans as dry beans or for canning them as in ranch style beans? So most of us think about growing green beans for the actual pod that we snap. And then we freeze our we can or we eat fresh but a lot of us including myself are trying to grow beans for the actual Bean. Last year, I grew black beans and was able to can enough black beans to last us all year and I've also grown pinto beans and canned them as well. And it's so nice not to have to buy, canned beans at the grocery store to be able to produce that myself. So that's really my goal to do you more and more of that each year. So if you have already planted being said she would intend to harvest ask the bean not as the Pod then that is a great question.
Not a lot of people will just wait until the Pod dries out and then they will harvest the dry bean. And that would make it very shelf-stable. Obviously the most shelf-stable because then you would just have to dry bean and then when you get ready to cook it, you would soak it and do whatever you would want to do with that. Like, you would any kind of driving that you would buy. And so if you do that, you will be waiting for a long time to harvest that because you have to wait for those pods to develop and then you have to wait for the beans to develop. And then you have to wait for the pots to dry out and then the beans to dry out and that can add a considerable amount of time to your, to your season. Into how long does beans will be in the garden? And you can do that. And most of us, actually do if we're saving seats for the next season because it's the same process of saving bean seeds for the next season. Letting that pod dry out, but maybe you don't really care to have the dry beans. Maybe you're like me. I want to have candy.
Because I like to be able just to pop the top and be able to put the pinto beans in the chili, or put it in the saucepan for refried beans or I like to just use the black beans in a recipe and not have to go through the stuff that's a completely personal preference. Think about the way that you use the bean are you used to using dry beans? Then you might want to leave them on the plant, really? That's the easiest way to do it. If you're used to cooking with dry beans, but if you're like me and you want to have them canned, you could go ahead and let it dry on the plant. In fact, that's probably what a lot of people do. They let them dry on the plant and then they go through the process of soaking and cooking and then canning. And in fact on the national Center for home, food preservation website, they have instructions on how to do that, how to take dry beans, and then soak them and cook them and then can them and I'll link that in the show knows. But what I like to do is I like to harvest those beans before they ever dry out in the first place. I harvest them at the stage.
Where they have it dried out, they have filled out the Pod and they're ready to crack open and just be able to shelter. I like what you would do. Peas shelled peas are black eyed peas. You just want to do it before they start drying out and to know when those are ready to harvest. It's kind of tricky because I know last year, when I was growing black beans, some of them I harvested too soon and the beans inside we're still white but if I waited a little bit longer than I would open up the pot and I would say they were black and I knew they were ready. And so I think it just kind of depends on on the type of thing you're growing as well. But what you want to look at is that you're going to notice that the Pod is going to get less shiny because when it's shiny and its young, that's when it's good for the hard. But as the dean start developing inside the Pod, you're going to notice that it starts getting bigger and you can kind of see the outlines of those beans actually growing inside the pod.
In the Pod itself, starts getting dull and it'll change colors to wear it and it's just not as bright and not as shiny. And then you look kind of be able just to feel and the color changes. And as I mentioned with black beans, the color of those pods changed as they started to mature. And it's something that I just saw as I as I started to harvest. So that's something that you would just need to observe. Probably like I did last year depending on what kind of bean that you grow. And then, what I do is I harvest them, when those beans are still soft before they start drying out and then I will go to start hating them using that same recipe from the national Center for home, food preservation. But I I skip the part where you soak the beans, basically go directly to the cooking part and then canning it. So that's how I do that for mine. The benefit of doing that, not waiting until they completely dry out. As you're able to get that crap out of your garden and plant a succession planting as, you know, of a huge
Can a batch for example, last summer I planted my black beans and I plan to Cherokee Trail of Tears, pole beans. So I planted them, you know, in mid-to-late April and then I was harvesting those beans early July. I think if I'm not mistaken and so I was able to get that crap out of the garden and plant another crop and its place where as if I would have waited until those beans completely dry out, that could have been several more weeks cuz it takes a while for those beans to completely dry out. That enabled me, not only to get the can of product that I wanted but also to be able to plant something else in its place. And that's that's just a personal decision on how I decided to do it. But again go back to how you want the Bean if you want it dried or if you want it shelled, and let that dictate when you harvest it again, just watch those pods, watch them change. And you can start getting a feel for when they're ready to harvest as you watching as you test because that's it just going to depend on what
Can you grow when that's going to happen? And you'll be able to figure that out. If you just out of crack open one or two and you'll see how far along they are. It really is a fun thing to be able to do and it's something I'm trying to do more and more each year, especially as we try to replace store bought canned goods with homegrown. That is a big part of my food plant in my garden and hopefully it can be with yours. The hopefully this answers your question. If you were wanting to do the same thing this year and I hope that you are having a great weekend. I'll see you on Tuesday for another full episode.