Many of the pole beans we grow can be eaten as a dried bean. This means that you don’t harvest the bean when it is young and green. You let it grow full size.
As the beans mature, the seeds inside the pod get much larger. The pod drys out in the wind and sun, leaving the bean’s seeds as the part of the plant that is eaten.
We harvest the dry pods while they are still in the garden. We like to do this after a string of sunny days. (This is why they are also called string beans! Just kidding!) They are easy to pull off the vine and toss into a container to be processed later.
The pods have different colors because they are different varieties of beans. This year we grew a Costa Rican bean, Rattlesnake, Trail of Tears, and a mystery variety that is probably Blue Lake.
The children pop the beans out of the dry shells while watching videos. We will keep some for seed, and send the rest to the kitchen to be used in a soup.
Pole beans are fun to grow, fun to harvest, and fun to eat.