Soybean Harvest

We planted two varieties of soybeans – Laura beans and Harunamai Edamame from Salt Spring Seeds. The Laura beans were for the Ongoing Soy Beverage Experiment while the Harunamai were for roasting and, if the yield was great enough, to try making a soy beverage.

Both were planted at the same time and both germinated more or less at the same time around the 3rd week of June.  We planted each about 6″ apart and had close to 100% germination.   By July 4, there was a noticeable difference in growth rate.

Soybeans – July 4, 2011

The first group are Harunamai, then Laura, then Laura on the other side of the post, then Harunamai, and lastly Laura.

Soybeans – Sept 26, 2011

By September 26, the Harunamai, on the left, were ready to harvest while the Laura, on the right, were still growing.  So we harvested the Harunamai and got one litre of beans from 36 plants in a 3′ x 4′ plot.  We have no idea whether this is a good or bad yield.

Even though we haven’t had a killing frost yet I decided to harvest the Laura beans on October 22 because we’ve had so much rain that the lack of rain that day was an opportunity not to be ignored.  It was cold, very cold and I was tempted to quit but as I stood there it occurred to me that were we depending on this food, I’d have no choice but to continue to harvest.  So I did.  Mentally, if not physically, I was warmed.

Both harvests were very good and it would appear that, although not entirely shelled yet, the Laura harvest is perhaps twice as good as the Harunamai although they went right to the wire for ripening.  Planting earlier next year by one or two weeks might help.  Perhaps staggering the planting one week apart would be a hedge against a late spring frost and an early fall frost.

At this point, we’re just pleased to have enough beans to dry roast, continue our Ongoing Soy Beverage Experiment, and increase our planting next year. We are quite please with how this has turned out.

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