Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bean There

2 lbs of freshpicked Green Beans~ first harvest of the season

I harvested the above Provider Snap Green Beans about a week ago. Since then I have picked twice again and have harvested a total of 4 1/2 pounds so far. They are delicous when raw and crunchy, lightly steamed, stir fried or boiled tender. I had some for dinner one night and the leftovers the next day as part of my green salad lunch with a nice vinaigrette dressing.

There are more beans waiting out there in the garden on the compact bushes. The more I pick them, the more they produce. These plants do not need a pole or trellis to climb. They grow to be about 18 inches tall and are heavy bean bearers. I plant them every summer and enjoy them for weeks.

Toward the end of summer I allow 2 or 3 plants to keep and mature their bean pods until they grow fat and start to turn a definite tan color meaning the beans inside are mature and drying. I then bring the pods inside and empty the purple beans out into a seed drying tray to keep for next year's planting. Each year my crop gets better. I think it is because the seeds adapt to the local climate and soil conditions and change for the better year after year.

That's what I've been doing in the garden this week. So how have you bean?

© Copyright 2008 Mountain Harvest Basket


Joggin Jack said...

I think it's interesting about the bean plants adapting to the garden conditions. Saving seeds seems to make good sence!

Farmgirl_dk: said...

What gorgeous little bush bean plants are still very small...we'll see how well they do.
I love the thought of drying and saving your own seeds for next year but I get confused over what you can do that with. You can don't that with every plant (I think tomatoes are an issue, right?), but good to know you can with beans.
I'm going to write down the Provider name and try to find some here for next year...they're purple, huh?

Hardware Bob said...

Your snap beans were scrumptious on my 9 inch flour tortilla veggie pizza, combined with home made walnut pesto, sharp cheddar cheese chunks, slivers of freshly sliced button mushrooms, and also your gifted tender zucchini. All topped with a dusting of Parmesan cheese.

Yummy yummy,in the tummy, it was so good I consumed it two days in a row.

I have "bean" great and eating healthy thanks to your veggies.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

OMG - HW Bob, that sounds INCREDIBLE! Yummmmm....

Farmer Jen said...

HI Jack,
You know I love to save the seeds from my garden. You also know that I still can't find my big box of saved seeds that I lost somewhere around here in all the clutter! That so frustrates me! All those seasons of seed saving, and now I can't find them to use them. Yeah, yeah, I know, clean out the clutter. Soon. I'll do it soon.

Hi Danni,
Thanks for your praise of my beans. Your plants will grow now that it is warm. I direct seeded my green beans fairly late this year and they still did well. Takes about 6 weeks for the beans to form after the seeds are planted outside (direct seeded). Of course that depends on the type of beans. My favorite seed supplier is Peaceful Valley Farm Supply. Look again at this bean post and see that I have turned the words "Provider Snap Green Beans" into a link to the closest bean variety I could find on their site. I didn't actually find on their site just now, the exact same green bean as I have been planting, but I think the one I linked to is very close.

As you know, the "green beans" that we eat are the immature seed pods of the bean plant. They are green and tender when immature and the beans (seeds) inside the pods are small (and green). When the pods are allowed to mature on the plant the bean seeds inside get fat and turn purple (in this particular variety) as they dry.

You can plant seeds from any plant and try to grow the same plant and harvest the same fruit at the mother plant, however, this works best with a non-hybrid vegetable. Hybrid vegetable plants are a combination of two different varieties combined to form the new plant/veggie. So if you plant a seed from a hybrid fruit/veggie, you may not get the same exact fruit as you had originally. Those saved seeds from hybrid fruit may produce a new fruit/veggie as one of the "parent" plants of the hybrid, which may be good, but may not be what you are expecting. This product may not have the same characteristics as the original hybrid plant as far as color, taste, texture, disease resistance, etc. It is fun to experiment with it however. Also, what I tend to do is to buy non-hybrid seeds, plant them and then save some of those seeds from the produced fruit/veggies, and then plant them with confidence that I will get the same thing that I had originally.

Sorry for the "horticulture" lecture in a comment reply. Guess I should do a whole post on hybrid vs non-hybrid plants, huh?

Hi Bob,
You pizzas do sound good and reminiscent of my pita bread pizzas I've been making lately. (I've even found a wonderful blog site that I will post about soon that had a recipe for making your own pita breads from scratch. Lots of work though.) I glad you are enjoying my veggies. Your garden will be producing soon now that you have protected your bean plants (or what's left of them!)from those pesky gophers.

How did you cook the pizzas? Baked them in the oven? Toasted them under the broiler?

Hardware Bob said...

Great lesson on seeds, and I cooked the veggie pizza in the microwave.

If I had more patience, and the pizza didn't look so delicious, I would have used the oven for a more crunchy crust.

Lulu Barbarian said...

What a beautiful bean harvest! All my bean teepees blew over both of the last two summers, so I got discouraged about planting them. But you're definitely encouraging me to try bush beans.

Knit Witch said...

Good lookin' green beans ya got there! Ours are just coming in - I can't wait! We have a BUNCH of bean plants. Your pesto recipe is very similar to mine (except I use way more garlic because we're addicted). Our basil plants haven't been that big this year either. Last year they were totally out of control but of course, we are in a new house this year. Great looking veggies!

Lulu Barbarian said...

The more I look at your pictures, the more I think, "Is it too late?" We've got a long growing season, so....

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Lulu,
Thanks for your praise of my beans. It is wonderful to have others appreciate Mother Nature's work as much as I do.

The bush beans take about 6 weeks in warm weather to produce the tender green beans, so you probably have plenty of summer left. The thing to remember is that after the summer solstice the days grow shorter little by little and the plants sense this. I think beans will be OK with it though. Try it, and let me know how it turns out!

Hi KnitWitch,
Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such nice comments. I posted the pesto recipe pretty much as it appeared in the cookbook that I stole it from, however, I too add quite a bit more garlic when I make the pesto. Garlic is great!!

Lulu Barbarian said...

Will do, Jen!