Video on the Southern Willamette Valley Bean & Grain Project

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Harvesting garbanzo beans


Today we started harvesting the garbanzo beans. This entailed walking along with shears and cutting them at the roots, then coming along behind with a wheelbarrow and picking them up. Sounds simple, right? Sure, but one 3-acre field took 9 hours, and we're still not done, and it was raining! We can't use a combine because there aren't enough to justify using it, too many beans would get lost in the machine during threshing. Also, the beans aren't tall enough. The average height is about 10-12 inches. We would probably crush as many as we cut. So, 4 of us trundled out there and stooped, crawled, kneeled, and hacked our way across the field. We are laying the bushes out to dry on a large tarp in the hay shed. We haven't decided how we are going to separate bean from pod yet. We should finish that piece and the other 2 very small pieces tomorrow.

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