[Market-farming] Beans (was: Re: Harvest cart - Crawler or Drangen)

Richard Stewart rstewart at zoomtown.com
Tue Aug 23 10:51:57 EDT 2011

We use beans as a rotational soil developing crop between spring and fall lettuces.  I use younger people and workshare CSA to harvest beans to save my back and require the least amount of capital to harvest.  Because of the workshare involvement we make sure that no one picks more than once a week so no one feels abused or taken ad vantage of and thus everyone seems happy.

I plant ONLY bush beans directly into the soil.  No pole beans.  Nothing that requires a lot of costly infrastructure or time to grow or takes up a lot of sun space.  I then grow micros between the rows as the bush plants seem to do a good job shading late afternoon heat as well and evaporating breeze.

Our runs are short because we do small crops for a three month harvest period and plant 120 row feet x36 times.  We normally have three harvests off each row which means there is usually 360 feet in production at all times.  We then wait two weeks to pull the plants and then compost is added to the bed immediately afterwards.  The beds are tilled and then we are planting fall crops, usually carrots, beets, and lettuce/micros.

Pole beans would be far too cumbersome and costly.  It takes nearly the same amount of time to harvest and yields are fairly similar (we do a Kentucky Wonder gb and Carson Yellow wb).  I'd rather pay someone to pick them and not make as much money they spend more money so I can harvest them myself.

My take on the issue.  I'd wouldn't mind using one of those foot powered harvesters, but then I would need to design a growing system to accommodate them and right now I do not have that flexibility.

I would HIGHLY recommend look at some of the foot/human powered designs.   There is no need to pay the cost and then the hassle of maintaining an engine when you can have a bike wheel and peddle or foot push type system.

Just my thoughts on the issue.

More Links

I cannot find the website witht he plans for the one wanted on bicycle wheels with a foot/and/or hand crank.  ANyone have this?

Here is a solar powered one:  http://wundaproducts.com.au/home/products/wunda-weeder/ (Cost 7K+)

Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855

(513) 967-1106
rstewart at zoomtown.com

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