I normally plant three types of pole beans (and many other bush beans but we'll leave that exciting tale for another installation): Hunter - a green flat pod with white seeds, Cherokee Trail of Tears - prolific, small black bean with round pods and some sort of 'cranberry' that I originally got at a fruit/veg store. This year I harvested five kinds of beans. I have been saving these seeds for many years and never remember this happening before. I figure that it must be one of two things: 1) I forgot that I planted other varieties, or 2) some pollination shenanigans has been going on.
My mystery bean
This bean turns out to be the most prolific of all my pole beans this year and I have no idea what it is. The pods are flat like the Hunter but purple like the Cherokee and the beans are a pale lavender/tan colour. If you recognize this bean as something you sent me, please jog my memory. In the meantime, here is some possible evidence of crossing. First the beans:
From left to right: Hunt, Mystery Bean and Cherokee Trail of Tears.
You can see that the pale 'lavender' mystery bean has the same markings as the Hunter bean. And now the dry pods:
From top to bottom: Mystery bean, Hunter and Cherokee Trail of Tears
I have to admit that I assumed all the purple pods were Cherokee though there were actually very few round pods. Most of them were flat like the Hunter.
From Left to Right: Hunter, 'Cranberry,' and Mystery Bean
And among the rest of the beans was one other surprise, some of the (not true) 'cranberry' were streaked brown?? I might have planted some variety like that but I've only found two pods so far that contained these nuggets of difference.
From left to right: brown marked bean and 'Cranberry'
Viva la diversidad! Here is a picture of the twining vines of various hues.
A twisting rainbow
Besides puzzling over these beans, I was threshing radish seeds. Here is a my quick step by step.
1. First gather dried pods
A pile of pods
2. Strip the pods from the stems
3. Step on them or rub them between gloved hands or use a masher like my niece. Or some other method to remove the pod from the seed.
You may recall her as a tyke in the Cabbage picture
4. Pour chaff and seeds into a bowl or bucket of water and swirl around. Remove the floating bits of pods and pour off most of the water leaving just a bit of water and seeds on the bottom then pour the rest through a strainer.
Almost all done. These were rattail radish seeds actually and I had a lot fewer pods. With the daikon radish of most of these pictures, I needed a bucket.
5. Dry and label seeds well!
P.S. Nagging Aunt of the Garden - that's NAG to you - doesn't have time to open her twitter account but wants to tell you to go buy garlic at one of the festivals round these parts tomorrow! I'll be in Carp if you want to sign up to be a member of Canadian Organic Gardeners. :)