Saving and Drying Peas/Beans
One way to save money at the allotment is by Saving and Drying Peas/Beans for use next season. Saving and Drying Peas/Beans is simple. The principal for drying and storing are essentially the same for all beans/peas. It’s important to remember not to save the seeds from F1 variety vegetables. F1 vegetables are a hybrid from two different plants. The seeds from F1 plants will not replicate the previous season’s plants. Hence to grow the variety you must purchase new seeds each season.
As an example, we are going to show you how to dry and store runner beans. Other vegetables have different techniques, which we will cover and add to this blog when we come to doing it ourselves.
Step 1 – Allowing your peas/bean pods to dry naturally on the plants.
Your vegetables, when left long enough, will eventually run to seed. This may be up until after a month your last harvest. This is a natural process that allows the plants to reproduce for next season. When the plants have sprouted bean/pea pods containing peas, beans. It is a good idea to allow them to dry out as fully on the plant for as long as possible.
Step 2 – Removing the peas/ beans from the pods.
Separate the legumes and clean any debris or anything that might rot. Here we de podded the beans and spread them out evenly on a drying tray.
Step 3 – Drying.
Leave the seeds/beans in a warm place away from direct sunlight. Spread them evenly over a drying tray to increase maximum drying surface area. It is important to make sure they are completely dry before storing. When they feel like hard pebbles then you know they are ready for storing.
Step 4 – Storage.
Before storing its essential to make sure the seeds are thoroughly dried out. Otherwise, moisture could cause the legumes to rot. They should be placed in an airtight tin/jar or in a brown bag in an airtight container. Labelling the container is important to know the varieties contained.
Saving your own beans and peas from season to season is not only cost-effective but also gives you a bartering tool to swap with friends and experience other strands and varieties.