We are excited to have a special visitor for dry bean harvest that started this week!
Flat Aggie journeys across the continent visiting farms and ranches, collecting great pictures and even better stories. I’ll let him tell you what he’s been up to this week…
Hi Flat Aggie here!
This week I’m vacationing at A Little House on the Farm, it is located in the Thumb of Michigan. Did you ever notice that Michigan is shaped like a mitten? If you look for the Thumb part, that is where they farm; surrounded by water on 3 sides! The climate here is warm in the summer and early fall, cold and snowy in the winter and cool until the lake warms up in the spring.
They plant corn, wheat, soybeans and dry edible beans. Dry edible beans come in many different colors but they plant Navy Beans and Black Beans. Navy beans can be used to make bean soup and baked beans. Black beans are used in a lot of cooking and some salsa’s.
Beans are usually planted in early to mid June and harvested mid to late September. The farmer said they were blessed with an early planted spring this year so these beans were planted between May 30th and June 6th.
There are a few ways to harvest dry beans. On their farm they “pull” the beans. Which means they use a Pickett rodder to bring the beans out of the dirt by their roots and put them in windrows. You can see in the picture that there are rods that bring the beans out of the ground, spike like teeth that pull them up to a conveyor and then the conveyor puts them in a windrow.
They do this in the morning and evening when there is still dew on the plants to help keep from splitting open the pods(also called shelling) while they get moved around. You can check out a drone video of them pulling beans right HERE.
In the afternoon when the windrows are dry the beans are perfect for combining. The combine will harvest 2 windrows at a time and separates the beans from the pods, stems, and leaves. Check out a video HERE.
Once the beans are in the combine they are unloaded into a truck using a special belt conveyor that is gentle on the beans and helps keep them from getting split or cracked. You can watch a video of them unloading HERE.
After they are loaded into a truck they are taken to an elevator where they are sold to companies that make yummy food for us!
Did you know Navy beans got their name because of the frequency they were served to sailors at sea?!
You can find out more information about A Little House on the Farm on their FACEBOOK PAGE. Their kids are always doing something silly!
You can also find out more about dry beans at the Michigan Bean Council.