Yep, that’s mold on my beans. An unpleasant thing to see when you’ve cracked open a gallon container of home-grown beans for the first time since harvest, looking forward to a big old pot of minestrone on a nasty day. There was a little mold on every damn bean, all the way to the bottom. They’re compost now.
How did this happen? Some weird disease? Did our house flood? No. It was all my fault. I was in a hurry for no good reason and it cost me the entire bean harvest: black, pinto, and kidney. All gone!
We pulled the bean plants up by their roots to make way for the piggies. The pods were already almost completely dry, but we hung them up in bundles in the smithy for a few weeks to dry a little more. The smithy is just a roof on posts – no walls to keep out blown in rain or dew. So though the pods looked and felt perfectly dry to me when I pulled them down and shelled them, the beans inside had absorbed a little of this ambient moisture. Since they felt dry I ignored the advice of all my books (Carla Emery says to give them as much as three weeks to air dry outside their pods) and shoveled the freshly shelled beans into storage containers.
As you’ve no doubt heard me say a zillion times: I learn the hard way, but I do learn. You can bet I won’t make this mistake again next year.