I've layed out the beans on old screens separated by stacks of cat food cans. I got the screens at Habitat for Humanity for 1.00 each. Some beans have dried nicely and some have molded, phew!
I've been reading about the old fashioned "leather britches" thing, where you string them on thread and hang them in the attic or over a stove. It seems very time consuming. How did people in the old days dry bushels and bushels of beans around here without mold problems? Beans were a basic staple. It would be easy as pie in southern CA but here with 70+% humidity most days....
Varieties: Blue Lake for fresh eating; State Half Runner for fresh and dry; Queen Anne's Black Eyed Peas for drying; 2 kinds of Indian Cornhill for drying (part of the 3 sisters experiment)
My tomato plants are loaded down with fruit but none are red yet. The Community Garden tomatoes are coming in red, fast and big though.
My friend Anne loaned me her fab Excalibur dehydrator for the toms. It works in about 8 hours. Kind of noisy, reminds me of the woodstove fan. The problem is, once I take them out to "condition" them (meaning let them even out in moisture level), they get a little soft and sticky again in this humidity. I'm worried if I put them in jars they will mold. I could freeze them, but the whole point is finding low energy ways of food preservation.
This will probably be the last post for a while. We're off to CA. I really hate to leave when so much is ripening every day. I hope my neighbors will take advantage as I have invited them to. I'm going to stick the dry tomatoes in the freezer until then. I hope I don't have a moldy pile of beans when I get home.