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Anyone plant soybean for home use on very small scale? Is it really tough to harvest and make usable by hand? Need special tools? I'm considering trying it this year ... guess I'm beginning my research right here ... as usual!


Might try some for the chickens too.
 

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Mike,

I grew some "Envy" soybeans from Johnny's seeds. If you want them fresh for eating pick them when the pods begin to yellow slightly. Dip them pods and all in boiling water briefly then the beans will slip out of the pod rather easily. The bean has a thick translucent "skin" which you can rinse off too. Put the beans back into boiling water to cook. They are a little like lima beans but with a much firmer texture and a better taste. It's not as much work as it sounds like but it's more than growing and eating garden peas.

If you want to wait until they're dry you can pull the whole plant once it's brown. Put it in a sack and beat with a plastic bat or other flail. The beans separate pretty easily and can be winnowed pretty easily too.

Both of these are micro scale soybean advice. I don't really know what's required to use them as feed if that's what you're asking. I think for feed use the beans are usually roasted or extruded (which cooks them) neither of which sounds like a homestead scale process.

Best Wishes

Ed
 

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I grow soybeans as a mulch under my corn. I plant it when the corn is about knee high. It grows fine shaded by the corn and it cleans the potato scab out of the soil in preparation for the potatoes that follow corn in my rotation. The best way to prepare the pods is to boil them in heavily salted water, pop the beans out of the pod and then the skin. Eat hot like boiled peanuts with a beer-the Japanese have beer and soybeans as an after-work treat while you and I are sucking down Buds and shelling peanuts; I guess we're a lot more alike than it seems.
 

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you dont say what "small-scale" is. i haven't grown soybeans, but i've grown a lot of dry beans in new mexico. i found them easy enough to harvest. when dry, i pulled entire plants, laid them on a tarp and whacked them gently.or maybe i walked on them. they shelled easily. i dont know if soybeans will. then i picked out the easily removeable plant parts, and winnowed by tossing in the air in a good stiff breeze (we had a lot of those in n.m.) to blow away the smaller plant pieces. lastly i rinsed them and dried before storing. i found it easy enough to process lots up to five lb of dried beans at a time which was all i ever had.
 
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