Our rattlesnake pole beans (previously featured here) have given us a solid eight weeks of production, yielding 400+ pounds of green beans for the two local food banks, ourselves, and friends. We've just thrown in the towel, however, and will let the plants do what nature drives them to do, i.e. procreate. The older the plant, and the more we interrupt seed production by harvesting the immature seed pods, the harder the plant pushes to make seed, increasingly producing smaller and tougher pods that begin to form seed almost immediately.
Fortunately it's a win-win for us, because rattlesnake produces a great dry cooking bean, like a pinto bean. It's also an heirloom variety, not a hybrid, so we can reserve a sufficient amount for next year's planting.
And all those dry beans that need to be shelled? It's no small job, but fortunately we have just the resource for that job. Have you read this far, mom?