Blue/green fungus on beans
Last month, September, I harvested a bed of Pinto beans from my allotment, Plot 12A, & after a few days dying in the greenhouse my wife removed all the beans from the pods. We took them home & spent the best part of a day “drying” them in the oven. Or at least that what we thought! I set the oven on the lowest setting & left the door closed but not shut completely as I thought they would need the air circulation to dry properly. I put them in, in batches, on an open mesh tray for pizzas on a sheet of kitchen paper. After 15 mins I went & moved the beans around a bit to make sure of even drying. After a further 15 mins I took them out & put in another batch & repeated the process. I probably did about 6 batches in all. After taking them out of the oven I spread them out on a couple of sheets of kitchen paper to cool down. After an hour or so I put each batch in a plastic bag & put them in the cupboard.
After about a week we noticed a bad smell in the kitchen, we thought it was from the rubbish/trash bin so I emptied it out & put a fresh bag in it. The next day the smell seemed stronger & then it suddenly occurred to my wife that it might be from the beans as the smell seemed strongest near the cupboard. I got the bags of beans out & effectively, it was the beans! Some of the bags had clumps of beans all stuck together & when we emptied one of the bags the smell was overpowering! As it seemed to be starting off in the lower part of each bag I took the bags out onto our balcony & emptied them all on a big table we have out there to dry for a day or two. They have been out there a week now but they haven’t dried off very much. I’ve moved them around a bit each day to try to get them to dry.
We had one bag that was filled with beans brought home at least a week after the first. Obviously these were the last to dry & we cooked some last week. They were very tender.
After all that l-o-n-g-w-i-n-d-e-d explanation what I would like to know is would they be safe to eat? We have removed all the beans we could find that showed the slightest sign of this blue/green fungus on them & you can see them in the photo. Those that were left have gone back into the oven set on a higher temp & with the door shut this time. They have also been in for 3/4 of an hour instead of 30 mins as the first time.
Does anybody know if this fungus produces anything toxic for humans? It would be a crying shame to have to throw away 3 or 4 kg of beans as they would last us all winter! On the other hand we don’t want to become ill!
Can anybody point me to site where they explain exactly how to dry & store home harvested beans? I have more plants on the allotment that will have to be harvested in a couple of weeks time.
- 3 Oct, 2012
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