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As children we used to scurry around in our grandparents' gazebo. Here and there were strange things that were previously unknown to us, such as garlic cloves, various seeds, onion sets and maybe dried runner beans…

The runner beans are separated from the pod for drying

Let the beans really ripen first

Around the beginning of July, the first pods are ready to be harvested if you have preferred the runner beans. Otherwise it may take until mid/end of July. By the time you harvest the runner beans, the pods should be well ripe and drying up. You can tell by a bulging pod that is already turning yellowish-brown.

Harvest, core and discard the pods

The runner bean pods are harvested by hand (if necessary, cut off with scissors) and cored at home. You now need the kidney-shaped and often spotted bean kernels to dry. The pods can be discarded.

Air dry the runner beans

The fire bean kernels can easily be air dried. Here are a few tips:

  • dark, warm and dry space is required
  • unsuitable: kitchen and bathroom
  • suitable: gazebo, bedroom, basement, attic
  • Spread the bean kernels out on plates, paper, baking sheets or other surfaces
  • Drying time: 1 to 2 weeks

Dry the runner beans in the sun

The beans can also be dried in the sun (alternatively in the oven). Use your balcony or terrace, if you have one. It is important that you turn the beans regularly - preferably twice a day. In addition, you should not place them in the direct midday sun. There the bean kernels could form a crust on the outside. As a result, they remain moist on the inside.

storage and use

The dried fire beans can be stored in storage jars, bags or other containers. They can be stored and germinated for many years if stored dry. You can also use them as seeds for new fire bean plants in spring.

Furthermore, the raw beans, which are poisonous, can be boiled, steamed, baked or steamed. Before that, it is advisable to soak them in water for a day. Cooked, they are edible and are suitable for stews, soups, salads and chilies.


In dry weather, the pods can also dry up on the plant itself. Then just harvest and let it dry for a few days.

The garden journal freshness ABC

How can fruit and vegetables be stored correctly so that they stay fresh for as long as possible?

The garden journal freshness ABC as a poster:

  • as a free PDF file to print out yourself

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