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Hi there!  I am growing several different varieties of beans from seeds that Krista gave me, and flax as well.  I've grown scarlet runners, yin-yang, and cranberry beans so I think I know how to grow and when to harvest the beans.  Flax, however, is a different story!  I believe that the seeds are in the little round seed pods and are harvested once the plant is dry, kind of like beans...  am I correct?

My goodness, flax flowers are just so beautiful!!!!

Any pointers as to correctly harvesting and processing flax seeds???

As to processing beans - if I may share my experiences on this...  I've tried drying beans in the past.  They get dry enough, but storing them here with all the ambient moisture causes them to re-hydrate and then mold!  Rats!  My recommendation is to can them using an approved recipe and a pressure canner.

Has anyone else had success in the long term storage of dried beans?

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Yesterday began the harvest season at the BBGP patch! We pulled in soup peas, wheat, barley, oats, and buckwheat. All of those crops have some varieties that are ripe and others still drying down.

The flax is just about dry enough but I don't want to shuttle it all to the greenhouse this year so I'm going to let it get really dry in the field and try to stomp it out there. Just need someone to haul me out a concrete floor to do the threshing on, haha! Bumpy dirt just isn't quite as abrasive as needed. :)

Yes, Susan, you have discovered the location of the flax seeds. I planted my flax around early April, I think, and it is almost dry enough to thresh. I hope you've stopped watering it. Definitely stop watering it if not, so it can properly dry up. I don't think the seeds shatter easily, so you can be patient. Wait until the pods are crispy and then cut the stalks. Flax does keep flowering as it matures, sometimes, so you may have some unripe ones mixed in. I lay them on a tarp on the cement garage floor and dance around on them. Do the shuffle. Or you can do it in a box if you don't have much. Then winnow it in front of a box fan or in the wind. If you have a screen the right size to let the flax fall through and catch the larger debris, that helps too. I would store it in a paper bag for the first month at least, I thought mine was super dry before but Dusty had trouble grinding it, until he popped it in the dehydrator for a bit to make it drier. I had stored it in plastic bags and a bucket with a lid too soon, I guess. I didn't have any problems with mold or rot, though, so it must have been pretty dry.

Beans, I pressure canned heaps last year and was really glad. It uses far less energy than cooking up each pot of beans separately over the winter. But I always store my beans in paper bags for at least a few months, then I put them in a rubbermaid bin, but still in the paper bags. OR, if you think your beans are dry enough, store them in large glass jars to keep out the moisture.
This is great! I really need this type of info!
Flax - 'm not sure what to do about avoiding watering the flax - it is in one of the veggie beds so it will be watered along with the other members of the garden community back there. Hmm. Now that I know, I'll plan to plant it next year with the garlic, which also needs a drying out period before harvest...
I'm so impresed that you are growing oats, barley, and wheat! This is one of the keys to local self sufficiency. The other I think is sugar beets so we can be self sufficient in sugar.
Now, if only we could plant chocolate!!! Haha!!
Beans - I think that canning beans is the best way. I believe I got my beans dry enough - they were fine for months - but the ambient moisture in the house rehydrated them and that's when they started to mold. They were in a large glass jar with an ill-fitting lid and we hadn't put in the ventilation system in the house yet. But Krista's point about canning them ahead of time saves energy is valid.
Susan,
How is your flax coming along? Half my field dried down in early august and the other half still has green on a lot of the stalks even though the pods are mostly brown and brittle. Baffling. If I had a warm, dry spot where I could heap so much I would harvest it all and leave it there for a few weeks. But I don't have good greenhouse access this year.

Yes, sugar beets. I wonder how you make them into sugar? Honey is good, too, though.

Putting your flax and other grains in the same area as the garlic makes sense. I need to do better garden planning that way in my home garden. I had a beds of onions, garlic, and potatoes all interspersed and it made it way hard to use the sprinkler.
Flax - well, we rigged up a cover for the flax so we could water the beans without the flax getting wet - that seemed to work! Except I sure miss their lovely blue flowers!!! Last weekend I pulled up all the flax and put it, stems and all, in paperbags to store in the upper part of our workshop, along with garlic, onions, and beans that had already dried enough on the vine for me to harvest.
At some point I will need to dance on it on a concrete floor???? Hmmm.
Then get a fan to winnow out the seeds from the chaff, right?
I hope I'm on the right track!
Susan,

You are correct! Or any other method you find that busts the pods and lets the seeds come out. Foot abrasion on a tarp upon a hard surface is good for larger batches (or my new plan: stuff 'em all into Brian's chipper shredder, good for a really large batch such as what I have drying on the dog porch). Smaller batches you could just rub between your hands (with gloves on).

A fan is a good idea for winnowing as the wind is so temperamental, and especially a pain for smaller seeds when it shifts around in the middle of your pouring...some sort of screen is good to have, too. Something that will let the seeds fall through and catch unbroken pods or big chunks of chaff. A collander may work for a small batch. Have fun!

Susan Kroll and Sergio Moreno said:
Flax - well, we rigged up a cover for the flax so we could water the beans without the flax getting wet - that seemed to work! Except I sure miss their lovely blue flowers!!! Last weekend I pulled up all the flax and put it, stems and all, in paperbags to store in the upper part of our workshop, along with garlic, onions, and beans that had already dried enough on the vine for me to harvest.
At some point I will need to dance on it on a concrete floor???? Hmmm.
Then get a fan to winnow out the seeds from the chaff, right?
I hope I'm on the right track!

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