Monday, May 14, 2007

bean arch - II

i spent the better part of the day yesterday putting up the new bean arch. although last years arch was very cool we completely changed our construction material. last year bamboo was the obvious choice. it was free, it seemed strong enough and it is a completely renewable resource. the unforeseeable downfalls were when it rained and got wet it flexed and couldn't hold the weight of wet bean leaves. i repaired it several times. this year cattle panels are used. they are pricey but if they don't work we will have many other uses for them around the farm.
another thing we learned was we only really like *rattlesnake pole beans* the other one we tried, missouri wonder, was vastly inferior. it was tough and a very pronounced string and not nearly as tasty. besides the *rattlesnake* has a beautiful purple flame design that disappears when cooked. it is like the turkey timer that pops out when done.
we made one alteration that might be risky. last year we noticed that the south end of the bean arch produced substantially more beans than any other part of the arch. i assumed that it was because of lack of competition with other beans for sunlight. in an attempt to replicate this we opted to make five separate bean arches each three and a half feet apart. these are still lined up to form a long tunnel but they might produce more beans from fewer plants. we'll see, it is always a learning experience.

8 comments:

tansy said...

what is the total length of the actual bean arch?

Danielle said...

Looks like it'll work completely! We got our chicks this morning!

pablo said...

I'm eager to watch the progress this year.

karl said...

tansy, each cattle panel is 51 inches wide and roughly 30 inches apart. that is roughly 31 feet long.
danielle, thanks for the encouragement. i'm excited for you guys, so much ahead so many fun things to make, grow and enjoy.
pablo, thanks we hope to not disappoint. panorama season is almost here.

pablo said...

Has anyone else been having trouble getting to this blog? This is the first time this weekend I've actually gotten through.

Joshua said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I use similar arches in my garden. I stake the ends a little further apart (8 feet) which gives me a broader arch. I also tie some guy wires to help keep their shape. It really helps mak them more stable. With the legs 8 feet apart, I end up with virtical walls 2 feet high. The virticals held vertical by four foot staves driven into the ground and through the stock panel. Then the 4 foot radius arch begins. I loose about six inches to the cords (guy wires), so the inside head room is about 5'6". Since mine start on top of raised beds and there is a sunken ailse down the middle, I have good headroom. In the winter, we through some plastic over them and call it a green house. I wish I could attach a picture to better explain what I mean.

For us, these stock panel arches serve many functions. Greenhouse in the fall an spring to extend the season. Chicken house in the winter. Quicky shed for whatever. And lately, a goat shelter for our two new milking goats. They are not cheap, 30 dollars for a 16 foot by 52" panel or one four foot section of arch. But in terms of easy up, quickly errected shelters, I think they are inexpensive. And they can handle the snow load of our Vermont winters, so they are four season for us.

MMproprietor

John Wesley said...

Sorry to hear about the Missouri Wonder beans. I'm trying some for the first time, so we'll see what we think of them.
I'm growing these beans up string attached to a bean tower from Burpee. There's a bean jungle going up and down it, making it a bit tricky to get all the beans.

John

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