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Beans: Orca

Greta’s Organic Gardens

Seed-Saviour-OrcaGreta’s Organic Gardens is an organic seed company based in Gloucester Ontario. They grow plants for their uniqueness in taste, appearance, color, and shape. They’ve found the best of these qualities in old-fashioned plants and organic gardening seeds. They have grown and tested many old-fashioned varieties, and have many great-tasting vegetables on offer. Some of these plant types are quickly being replaced by hybrid and genetically altered varieties. By growing these older varieties yourself, you’ll help preserve our vegetable heritage.

Planting Instructions
Orca beans (or Yin Yang beans) are one of the all time best for baking and soups. Strong 38 cm plants produce round black and white seeds with contrasting eye (averages 4-5 per pod).

Beans are fun, fast-growing plants that take little care to perform well. Sow bean seeds about three or four inches apart in a row after all risk of frost is over. Thinning is not necessary, but do keep the plants weeded, especially when young. Bush beans begin to bear in about 50 days, and their crop is produced in one brief burst lasting about two weeks; to have a steady crop, plant additional beans every two or three weeks for the first half of the season. For most tender green beans, harvest when young, slightly thicker than a pencil.

Seed Saving Tips

Some bean varieties (especially runner beans) are more likely to cross pollinate and should therefore be isolated by not planting other bean varieties nearby.  French beans, on the other hand, and less likely to cross pollinate and can be located within 2-4 meters of other bean varieties.

Select seeds from the healthiest looking plants.  Allow the pods to mature and dry brown before harvesting.  If frost threatens, pull the entire plant from the ground and hang in a cool, dry location until pods are brown.  Pods are ready to open when beans rattle inside.

Open the pods by hand and remove the bans.  Large chaff can be removed by hand by winnowing. Once out of the pod, allow the beans to dry for at least two weeks before storing.

Store seeds in an airtight container. Well-dried seeds stored in a cool, dry place should retain germinability for three years. Remember to label the seeds with the variety and date.

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