Bringing in the Dinosaur Harvest

Now that I’ve resumed light gardening duties, it was time to tackle the dinosaur eggs, otherwise known as Purple Podded Best beans, which have done rather spectacularly well. The problem with getting seeds handed over in a mysterious little unlabelled bag is that they don’t come with any instructions. So I wasn’t sure exactly when or how to harvest. I was going to leave them on the plants until the frost killed them off, but a bit more googling suggested that this wasn’t a great idea in a damp climate so today I hoicked them up to dry them indoors.


Some of the pods had actually dried out (we really did have a spectacularly dry September) and were looking rather spiffy.

bean pod

Others had gone a bit soft so I pulled those off the plants and shelled them and the rest got hung up to dry in the shed on an improvised rack.

bean plants ready to dry

Even further googling suggests that podding them and drying them in the Rayburn’s warming oven might be an even better option, and it might still come to that, although then they won’t germinate, which slightly misses the point of having some heritage orphan seeds.

the harvest so far

Anyway, seeing as these were given to me by a seed guardian, and it’s all about preserving varieties for posterity, if anyone would like a mysterious baggie of dinosaur eggs of their own then give me a shout in the comments, although you might want to wait until we’ve actually tried eating them and tell you what they taste like. Or at least confirm that they aren’t going to eat us…

squash harvest

In other news I’m unimpressed by my squash harvest. My friend suggested that they were ‘mainly ornamental’ but ‘not even particularly ornamental’ would seem to be closer to the mark. Depending on how they taste, I’m going to have to try harder to get hold of gem squash again for next year…

8 Responses to Bringing in the Dinosaur Harvest

  1. Sue Greig says:

    Are your squashes really Turks Turban? Certainly not ornamental!!

  2. disgruntled says:

    Maybe not. I was just guessing. I’ll have to look up the catalogue…

  3. disgruntled says:

    I think they were actually blue ballet

  4. Anonymous says:

    Those beans are strange beasties, I don’t like the idea of eating them, so good luck.

  5. Viviane says:

    I think your beans are what we call “haricots coco de Paimpol”, you can eat them without waiting for them to be dry. They make good soups and “pasta e faggioli”.

  6. Their Heritage Seed Library name is Climbing French Bean Purple Podded although I was given another variety this year Blue & White which looks virtually indistinguishable. They are meant to be dried and stored but you can eat them fresh and as Viviane suggests they are good in Italian soups and stews. I use them in Riobollitta. I try and leave the pods to dry on the plants but failing that and if the weather becomes very wet pick the pods when the seeds are mature and leave the pods to dry indoors. I have been harvesting seed for the last three or four weeks and have saved about 2.5kgs so far but there are still pods left on my plants which i am hoping will produce mature beans. If they do not they can still be eaten as immature beans.

  7. disgruntled says:

    John – they’re perfectly edible as long as you cook them.
    Viviane – we’re only drying them because there’s too many to eat fresh and no room in the freezer (too full of blackberries at the moment)
    Michael – thanks for the update! I didn’t want to leave the plants because of the frost so hopefully they will dry in our shed. The pods were pretty much all mature from what I could see. What a year it’s been for beans…

  8. […] I bother, after all? No, don’t answer that). So it seems almost irrelevant to wonder how the dinosaur eggs turned out once we came to actually eat them. After all, they were kind of cool looking, germinated […]

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