Neighbors in south Corvallis (including a few folks from CoHo) joined forces to grow dry beans on a neighbor’s land.
The work–tilling, planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting–was shared and so was the harvest. The wet weather led to a late planting and early harvest. It was not a great bean year, but it was a great experiment in shared gardening.
After the plants were pulled from the fields, the pods were dried at various locations. CoHoots dried two varieties of beans in our greenhouse. A stomping technique proved very effective in dislodging beans from the pods. Sifting the output through screens and using a fan to blow away the last few bits of pods and leaves went quickly and attracted a small (age-wise and size-wise) crowd.
The total harvest of ying-yangs, black coat runners, pintos, gauchos, pawnees and cannellinis was 65 pounds.
There was talk of growing beans again next summer and/or maybe corn and switching to another plot of land.
The “bean project” was coordinated through SHARE (Southtown Harvest and Resource Exchange), a group of neighborly neighbors in south Corvallis.
One member of the bean crew proudly proclaims his praise for southtown in a tag line on his emails: “I’m happy to live in the best neighborhood ever!”