Things are winding down in the garden in preparation for the fall harvest/winter crop planting season. Now that most of my bean plants have shown their true colors, I put together a list of the Top 10 beans from this year's trial.
Starting from the top left of the picture:
1. Burgundy 9 B (aka "Rex")
This is an incredibly vigorous and high yielding pole bean that is currently displaying a large color variance, with everything from a dark brown approaching black to a light tan. I'm hoping to stabilize the color in future seasons.
2. Burgundy 12
This selection is a pole bean with what I believe to be the highest yield of everything planted this year. (I haven't actually measured yet, because the late-maturing varieties are still producing.) The beans are long and cylindrical, compared to the more typical rounded bean shape, and the color is a range of dark browns.
3. Black Small 3 B (aka "Raven")
This is a selection from a single plant of Black Small 3 (aka "Caravan") that has brighter purple pods and seeds roughly double the size of the parent. If the yield remains strong, it should be a good variety.
4. FCG x RZ
This is the result of a manually cross pollinated hybrid of Four Corners Gold (a yellow bean) and Rio Zape (a purple bean with black stripes). The seeds are very large, which is promising. I am looking forward to seeing what kind of variation I will obtain in future generations.
5. Black Pinto 1 B
I tried to select out the brown (rather than black) seeds, but the colors are so close that they are extremely difficult to distinguish without very good lighting. I was a bit disappointed that this one has a delayed maturity compared to most of my other selections, but it still has strong vines with a decent yield and should be well worth pursuing in future seasons.
6. Jellybean Big Pink B
I like the appearance of this one, though it is a shame that the post-harvest darkening dulls the color as time passes. The yield wasn't spectacular, but not terrible either.
7. Jellybean Purple B
This selection has a spectacular deep red seed color and good yield. Each individual pod is surprisingly long. I'm hopeful that it will be a good variety.
8. Jellybean Red C
This is an attractive red bean with slightly darker red stripes. The color is intense. I'm hoping that it will be inherited in future generations.
9. RZ x PPP 1
This is a selection from a hybrid between Rio Zape and Purple Podded Pole. It is a slightly late-maturing pole bean that has the best color of all the solid-purple selections that I made this year, though as with the rest of the Rio Zape offspring, it is affected by post-harvest darkening that turns the seed coats brown with time.
10. RZ x PPP 7 B
This cousin of the selection above is a solid white bean. I'm not partial to white beans, but I know a lot of people are, and now that I have purchased several cookbooks dedicated to bean recipes, I may find some good uses for them. It seems like a good idea to keep my options open.
In other news, my cousin visited the area over the weekend to receive an award from the Sierra Club. I was able to meet him at the airport on Friday and have supper together in the city. That was a nice excursion.
On the job front, Management has decided to try a new tactic. If you recall, they first attempted to change our schedules to create a new graveyard shift, but we've been fighting that with the union. Then we proposed a temporary experimental schedule to gather data on the performance of their desired shift, but they didn't want to agree to our proposal. This week they have started drafting handlers to cover the late-night hours as overtime rather than as a fixed shift.
There really isn't anything we can do about this, because they have the authority to draft people for as much overtime as they feel necessary, as long as they have the budget for it. On the bright side, now they're paying us $90/hour to obtain statistical data on these work hours, which we can then use to support our position, so I guess it's not a total loss.