Friday, April 22, 2011

Beans, beans, the musical seeds, the more you plant, the more you'll feed!

I'll be the first to admit that I'm no Shakespeare when it comes to poetry, but I'm guessing that Shakespeare never wrote about beans, so hopefully we can call it even. :) I went to the store this morning to pick up another 40 pounds of beans for the storage pantry but decided it'd be good to set these aside for future planting and/or sprouting. It can be easy to forget that beans are also seeds, but since they are, they can be planted to yield more food down the road. How cool is it that you can buy a 20-pound bag of beans for about $20 and also have the potential for a huge garden harvest later from those beans? Sounds like a great recipe for survival, and just plain smart from a food-storage standpoint.

One thing you DON'T want to do, however, is if you're planning to use beans to plant later, you absolutely should not vacuum-seal them. Remember that since they are seeds, beans are also living organisms, and vacuum-sealing them will essentially kill them. They'll still be edible for a long time, of course, but they just won't grow and produce more beans after you've vacuum-sealed them. The 40 pounds of beans filled up two 12-jar cases of mason jars (again, don't vacuum-seal the jars), and now those jars are in a cool, dark place until I'm ready to plant them. Have any of you used any of your beans from your food storage for sprouting and/or planting? I'd be interested to hear your stories of storing and growing your own food using beans.


  1. Remember with stocking up on beans to add extra water to your supply.
    Nothing like beans, cornbread and fried tater's.

  2. How about freezing them? If you freeze them will they still be viable for planting later?

  3. Kris, I'm not sure what effect freezing would have on beans. My freezer is full of frozen veggies that I thaw out and dehydrate (more on that soon in another post), and I'm not sure that freezer space would be the best use of space for beans, since you should probably have a lot more than just a freezer-full of them. I think you should be OK just to put the beans in mason jars (WITHOUT oxygen absorbers) and just keep them in a cool, dark place and plant them later.