The first thing you need to do when saving bean seeds is to get rid of them from your garden. You may have noticed that some seeds are still floating around in the soil or even in your flowerbeds. If you haven’t already, take those out too! Next, if you have any plants with flowers (orchids, lilies etc.) then cut off all their petals and remove the stamen at once. Then simply throw away the seed pods. You don’t want to store these seeds anymore than you have to.
Now let’s look at how to harvest bean seeds. First of all, you will need a large knife like a chef’s knife. A vegetable peeler works well too, but it takes longer and is harder work! You’ll also need something else that can break down the tough outer layer of the seed pod so that you can easily pull out the seed inside. That’s where a sieve comes in handy.
Just make sure that you use one made of very fine mesh.
When harvesting seeds, always keep the blade perpendicular to the ground and never go into the seed itself! Doing so could cause injury to yourself or others. Also, don’t try to rip open a seed pod while it is still attached to its stem; doing so could damage your hands or worse! Lastly, always be very careful not to stab yourself.
Now for how to harvest bean seeds. First of all, you need to find a flower that has already turned brown. Cut it off right at the base of the stem. Then place it in your sieve and shake vigorously to remove the rest of the petals that aren’t caught. Next, hold the bottom (i.e.
the stem) of the pod and gently squeeze to see if anything pops out. If a single black, shiny seed comes out then you’re fine; if not then you’ve got to keep going! If there is more than one bean in each pod, then you will need to remove them all.
This is where a knife or vegetable peeler comes into play. Get to work and carefully peel away the outer layer until you expose the white pulp. DO NOT PEEL AWAY TOO MUCH! You only need to peel away enough to clearly see the black, shiny bean inside. If you don’t want to mess up your knife or peeler then use something else that is easy to cut with and can still take away the layer of pulp.
When you’ve managed to expose the beans inside the pod, hold it firmly in your hand and very carefully cut it in half just along the seam. If done right, the beans should each be covered by half of the pod’s original skin. Now you just have to pull them out one by one. At this point you should have a big pile of seeds. If you didn’t throw any away, then you now have about 50-100 bean seeds!
After this you need to let the rest of the pods dry out for a week or two before placing them in an airtight container.