This is a re-post of my November 6, 2010 post "Farmer Bills Threshing and Winnowing" I am once again blessed with a large amount of beans drying in the pods.
Last week I harvested the driest of both my "Rattlesnake" and "Kentucky Wonder" pole beans. Some remain on both trellises of beans to dry further before harvest.
I placed the harvested beans on the burlap sheet I have and formed the sheet into a sort of bag, just as in the threshing process described below. Then I placed the bag inside of an old nylon mesh bag I have from my days as a youth soccer coach to carry the balls and cones etc. to practices. I then used the drawstring of the outer bag to hang the beans in the garage for further drying.
The threshing is for later when the rest of the beans dry and have been harvested.
Yesterday afternoon I went out to do something about the dried bean pods hanging from the foliage free trellised pole bean vines. Picking them all off the remains of the stems 1 by 1 is tedious enough but shelling them bean by bean afterward is beyond endurance. Trying the latter for a while I gave up and went in to find a better way.
In a few minutes on line I found it, using burlap as the "threshing medium" see the facebook capture. I hot footed it to the Ace as soon as I found out they had 1 package of burlap left. I adapted the process from bags to the sheet burlap I could get quickly. I just laid out a 3' x 4' piece of it on the patio table, piled the bean plants and pods on it, and gathered the edges of the sheet into a bag tied closed with a length of twine. I found a video of the general method of threshing on You tube. I wasn't about to walk on the bag I made though. I just squished it around a bunch on the patio table, a little like kneading a big hunk of bread dough, until it felt like all the pods were broken up and emptied. A few shakes up and down later to get the beans to the bottom, grabbing handfuls of the loose plant matter out of the opened bag until I couldn't anymore without getting the beans & the THRESHING was done
There was just enough wind after I finished threshing to try a little WINNOWING by opening the bag and forming the loaded burlap into sort of a hammock and shaking it up and down just enough to get the chaff but not much plant or pod airborne and floating away in the wind. The chaff kind of hangs in the air like dry snow. Then the wind died. Complete winnowing awaits tomorrow. See the facebook image above for the process to be used