Collecting Calypso Beans and What I Did Wrong

In the spring I was looking for something different that the grade three class could plant. I came across some calypso beans buried in my seed stash. I wondered what they would be like. We could use them in our soup making class in the fall. I started the seeds with the children and they sold a few seedlings at their plant sale to raise money for the food bank. We had a few plants left over from the sale so we decided to plant them at the Ladner Community Garden. We only planted about eight plants. They grew easily but school was over before the plants could be harvested. Here it is August and most of the beans are ready to pick or so I thought. I knew they were beans to be used for cooking, not fresh eating. What I didn’t realize is it would have been best to let them mature on the vine as I was saving the beans seeds for  fall and winter meals. Okay, lesson learned.

drying calypso beans

Well, I wasn’t sure what to do after I was told they shouldn’t have been picked so early. I wanted to clean up the garden bed before the new grade three class of September arrives . The peas and potatoes had been harvested and I worried about the beans rotting on the ground. Since I had so many picked I laid them out on a tray. One tray was lined with paper towel to absorb any moisture while drying. The other tray was a cookie sheet and I didn’t use any paper towels. I spread them apart so they had plenty of room to dry and I placed both trays of beans on top of my fridge. Each week I checked them and shelled out any beans that were sufficiently dried. It was easy to crack open the yellowed pods. What I did notice is the beans on the cookie sheet dried faster.

Drying calypso beans

On the first  shelling I got just a few beans. I waited another week and cracked open a few more pods. Today I have half a pound of beans shelled and I will leave them in a bowl on the kitchen counter. That way I can give them a shake to make sure I don’t have anything going wrong with them and weed out any that don’t look good. So far just one bean has been removed. It’s a slow process drying them at home and probably the sun would have done a better job. I think what amazes me the most is that I only used eight beans to grow a half pound of beans. We will definitely have to find a new recipe that is child friendly to make at the school this fall. I may try this recipe I found over at Pen & Fork. It sure looks delicious!


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