Beans

We grow a lot of beans in the summer.

We always grow green beans (known around here usually as “string beans” or “snaps”). Our favorite variety is a flat bush bean called “Roma.” Green beans are a “pick and come again” vegetable and we’re usually able to get 3 or more pickings off a plant. They’re delicious and an essential homesteader’s food, in my opinion.

IMG_7555

October beans are another summertime favorite around here. I’m not sure how they came to have that name. On the seed packets they’re called “horticultural beans,” but I’ve never heard anyone refer to them that way.

IMG_7789

Last night's supper. October beans with crispy sage and garlic, tomato salad with homemade dressing, cornbread with homemade tomato jam, and fresh Crimson Sweet watermelon.

Last night’s supper. October beans with crispy sage and garlic, tomato salad with homemade dressing, cornbread with homemade tomato jam, and fresh Crimson Sweet watermelon.

We’re also growing black beans. We developed a love of them while living in Tampa. They are very popular in Cuban cuisine. I’ve never known anyone else around here to grow them and we sold out quickly last year. Whereas green beans and October beans are “fresh beans,” black beans are dried on the vine before picking.  I just yank up the whole plant and stuff them into large tubs for shelling later.

IMG_7720

This year we’re growing white cannellini beans for the first time and they are almost ready for harvest. They’re also a dry bean. We enjoy eating them (kale and white bean soup is a cold weather favorite) so I’m pleased that we’ll have them home-grown this year.

IMG_7718

IMG_7719

Beans require a lot more work that some crops, so plenty of farms like ours don’t bother with them. Weeding, picking and prepping them is time-consuming. But I’m glad to have them as part of our seasonal eating repertoire.