Butterbeans and Edamame

I've grown both butterbeans and edamames. I have no experience with either - when are they ready to harvest? The butterbean plants are turning yellow (although they're still upright and healthy looking), the pods are plump and covered with fuzz. Any help would be appreciated - and how do you preserve them, freezing? Thanx!
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Ann
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Dear Ann,

First, butterbeans: I presume you are referring to lima beans. If desired to eat fresh, they should have been picked already. Thus, I infer you are trying for dry beans. In this case, pick when the pods seem dry. I have learned from bitter experience that if you wait too long, they will mold and become useless. Bring them inside and let them dry in the pods for a while, maybe a month. Then break open the pods and store in a cool, dry place.
For edamame, pick when the pods look full. If unsure, pick a few, boil them up and have a try. So far I haven't been disappointed no matter what the size. The only effect of picking them too small is reduced yield. In my limited experience, three years growing these, yield won't be a problem.
The recommendation I have been following for preserving edamame is to parboil them in the pods for maybe five minutes, then freeze them, still in the pods. To prepare, boil, still in the pods, for about 10 min., pop out of the pods and eat. You can treat them like lima beans, put some butter on them, perhaps some herbs - I like lemon pepper.
Guy Bradley Chesterfield MO zone 6
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When lima beans are very young (about half their mature size), the small beans are delicious raw -- sweeter than the sweetest young peas, and even more tender. A yummy treat!
~REZ~
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (Rez) wrote:

Yes, they are. :-) I have done that, but I steamed them lightly.
Limas make a great pod bean if picked young but you may have to string them.
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Om.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
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Boy, am I late getting back to this! Thank you for the info, I believe it'll apply mostly to what I grew, but they weren't lima beans, they were a variety of edamame/soybeans offered by Johnny's. They're gone now, but they were delish! Thanx for all the info from people who answered my query.
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Ann
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