Everybody is wondering if they should pick their beans. Here's what we decided (sort of):
Jennifer: You're supposed to wait till they yellow a bit? I've never harvested dry beans. I'm beyond excited to finally see them.
Susan: I need this info. Perfect timing as the beans I have (not many) are starting to look near ready.
Jeremy: Mine are yellowing, so I should pick them????
Elaine: I'll do some googling if I have time. Neal, do you have advice? Zoe, haven't you done dried beans before?
Elona: I'll ask my parents too ... they should remember a thing or two.
Neal: Wait until pods are leathery and yellow. If they get crispy then the beans can fall out. If rainy damp weather is expected pull the plants from the roots and hang upside down in garage or attic to dry until pods are crispy. I usually do this and shell the beans in the winter by the stove.
Elena: Oops.. we shelled some already and froze them. Will keep the others as you suggest.
Zoe: Agree with Neal let the pods dry on the vine If hard frost or excessive damp threatens then pull the whole plant and hang to dry. Cassoulet beans are dry beans not fresh frozen. Totally different starch components between fresh frozen and dried beans
Elaine: Elena, I did check with Kate who said it was fine to put them in the freezer. They won't be the same as the dried beans but they will be delicious nonetheless. And it will be interesting to have them next to the dried ones maybe as a side-by-side tasting.
Elena: I have a dehydrator. would you like me to use it?
Elaine: No, Elena. Let's see what the frozen beans are like.
Kate: They taste delicious when not dried. sweeter and more tender. try cooking a small handful now and see the difference.
Here's some advice from the internet: How to Harvest and Store Dry Beans