Green Beans

I don’t want to leave those squash bugs at the top of the feed any longer than necessary! I’m headed off to experience the eclipse near St. Louis, so won’t be posting for a few days. I’ll just share a happy garden moment.

Over the years you may have noticed that I am not a big green bean fan. When I first moved to the farm, the only thing Steve grew were tomatoes and green beans. He had a long, low fence along which he planted green beans– tons of them. And he had another raised bed for tomatoes. Those were the original two beds that quickly became three, then six, then twelve, then fifteen…

I’ve moved the green beans around and tried some fancy supports like those expandable bamboo tipis (mine broke off in the wind at ground level). I finally settled on a tall pea fence. But I’ve always overplanted. By August, my bean fence is almost always swaying back and forth or leaning in one direction and needs to be propped up and staked with rope.

But not this year. This year I planted six bush plants (saxa french beans) that produce a great multitude of sweet, thin beans, then give out. I also planted six and only six climbing bean plants, three purple and three green. The purple beans also started bearing early and then got swollen and stopped. They’re coming back now, though, for the usual late-season run. The pole green beans, though, have been– and I never use this word for beans– lovely. Just lovely. I want to say it with a British accent. The leaves are lovely and the vines are lovely and the beans are absolutely lovely.

I haven’t gotten overwhelmed, either. I froze a couple bags of them for winter stew and soups, but otherwise I’ve just had enough to cook up now and then with butter and salt and serve alongside things. Things like our roasted rooster. (Oh, I probably didn’t tell you we killed our two roosters. Did I even tell you two of our chickens turned out to be roosters? They were pretty and not very aggressive, but they were also really, really loud. And not just at dawn but every hour on the hour from 5 a.m. until noon. No one misses them. But I’m mad at the chickens, who have still not laid a single egg, so let’s not talk about them.)

Beans. The beans are what you’d most want them to be. When they’re immature they are slightly sticky. They lose that when they are full length. They hang down in full view. I only get a handful a day, which I slip into a bag in the fridge until we eat them. I still don’t like them raw– I mean, let’s not go crazy. And I always reach for a cucumber or tomato first. But the beans this year, really. So lovely.

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