We planted a new type of shelling bean this year called Jacob's Cattle Bean.
Pretty beans, just like spotted cows. Purchased from Seeds of Change http://www.seedsofchange.com/garden_center/product_details.aspx?item_no=S10954
It is an heirloom variety of bush shelling bean. I put in a single row, as an afterthought along the fence line of the garden.
Jacobs Cattle Bean Row, April 24, 2009
The plants came up strong and topped out at only about 8-12 inches tall. Despite the small height, each plant had 4-8 pods on it.
May 24, 2009
When the beans were young, I picked about a dozen and cooked them up like green beans (blanched and cooled to eat), but they were too tough for my tastes. After that experiment, I just allowed the pods to dry on the plants.
Harvet on June 11th, 2009
I picked all of the plants on June 11th, just before a big rain. 90% of the plants were dead from the heat and the others were yellowed. I allowed the plants to dry in a basket for a few days and then enlisted the help of boy's small fingers to help shell the beans. Forget child labor laws, he loved the task.
It was not much of a harvest. I planted about 20 plants and harvested 1/2 cup of beans, mabye enough for a side dish. I'm not sure it was really worthwhile use of space in my small garden. Still, what a pretty bean and my first sucessful crop of shelling beans.