The dried bean pods hanging from the basement ceiling are waiting to be shucked, that is, removed from their pods. The easiest way we've found to do this is to put them inside an old pillowcase and smack them on the cement basement floor. A few hard foot stomps will finish the task. I know you want to help Candy, but your paws are too little.
Hand picking is the more time consuming way to separate the beans from the chaff. A good project for the kids, or something to do while sitting in front of the tv during the long winter nights.
An easier way is to first remove the largest pieces, and then go outside and let the wind do the rest. By pouring the beans back and forth, the lighter chaff will be blown away by the wind, while the heavier seeds will fall into the container.
This dark variety is called Provider, a very prolific green bean that we grow each year for eating fresh and preserving.
The white beans are from a yellow variety called Gold Rush, a long producer of large wax beans that taste great and freeze well.
We will be saving the seeds of these varieties for replanting in the summer.
The beans we grow for baking and chili include Coco Rose, a climbing heirloom variety.
And finally, the Jacobs Cattle Bean, whose name is derived from its pattern, resembling the reddish hide of spotted Hereford cattle, an old time bean that has long been a staple for baking and soups.