The pods on the Yin Yang bean plants at the community garden are finally mature and ripe! Signs of them being so are when the pods turn yellowish from the usual green colour. As you can see in the pictures below, the pods sometimes can look whitish as well.
One thing I don’t like about growing bush beans is the close proximity of the pods to the ground. That means easy access for snails, slugs and ants to make a feast out of them. As a result, some young tender pods can get eaten and we lose them for seed collection.
I find it is alright to pick the so-called ripe fruits to harvest the seeds. Just ensure that the pods look plump as the seeds, when they are reaching the maturity, the seeds swell up and push the sides of the pod cover outwards on both sides. You can actually see the outline of the seeds. Immature bean pods are usually flattish and the seeds, if harvested, won’t germinate.
Another indication that the seeds are ready for harvesting is that they have that ‘look’ when the pod is split open. In the case of the Yin Yang beans, the seeds at the right stage of harvest will have the typical black markings on them, although from the picture below you can see that they are a less obvious than what’s seen on the dry beans.
After the seeds have been harvested, they can be dried under the sun for say 3 to 4 days. They will strink a little in size as moisture escapes and once they are dry, you can store them in a sealed bag inside the refrigerator (not freezer!) to prolong their shelf life. Storing them under normal conditions in Singapore isn’t a good idea as the seeds won’t stay viable for too long.