and then you’ll want another meal, of BEANS, BEANS good for your heart!
we ate a LOT of beans as kids.. trimmed them, cut them.. ate them. And yet, I still love beans. My dad grew them, we trimmed them, mom cooked them, and we all ate them. green beans, and “sneijbonen” or scarlett runners. One of my cousins just reminded me that Dad used to call them ‘throat cutters’. IF you wait too long to harvest them, they are pretty tough.. and then you just want to keep them for the legumes inside – which are fantastic. Bigger than a kidney bean.. great colour, and so meaty.
My mom used to cook them up in bacon fat with big cut chunks of bacon, and we’d eat them with mustard. MMmmmm’mmm. Must buy bacon…
They also make a great candle holder.
Funny story about these particular (scarlett runner) beans in the pic above.. they’ve been in this vase for about 3 years – and just this past Christmas I had a lit candle on top, which ended up melting into the beans. A few weeks later, I poured the beans out, dusted them, and removed all the wax. Fast forward to about a month ago, I decided to see if any of the dried beans were viable, so I soaked them for a few days in wet paper towel, and sure enough, they sprouted! A couple of days ago, I planted those sprouts into our new bean bed, along with 2 other varieties of pole beans.
This is the 2nd of 3 new raised planters that Guillermo is building this Spring. This one is alongside our new deck/pergola, with the hopes that the beans will grow right up the side and onto the pergola. He’s lined the insides with Delta house wrap to protect the wood from rot, and the bottom with landscape fabric to keep weeds out.
In a few weeks it will be really neat to put this photo side by side with the climbing beans.
We’re not new to pole beans… we’ve been growing them for years behind our house, on the South side, where they would follow strings as high as we would allow them. I’m sure they would grow up 5 storeys if we had enough string. These pics are from previous summers.
I learned from a wonderful hobby gardener.. my Dad. He would grow scarlett runners up the side of his 2 storey steel barn, where they would reach the roof, and then curl on back.
He also built a gazebo in the backyard on top of an old black walnut tree stump, and then grew beans up two sides of the gazebo. We would sit in the shade under the vines and pick the beans, eating them raw. (ps.. while my mom has to be the most photogenic person I know.. my dad.. not so much.)
Whenever I play in my garden, i think of my dad and how he loved to grow things. He even used his own chicken manure from the chicken pen we had right in our Main Street village backyard. He grew so much of our food, and we had incredible bounty to share and to store up. Mom worked hard in the kitchen, with no Air Conditioning in the hot summer months, peeling, chopping, canning and freezing so many meals of food that kept our family going for months. My sisters and I weeded, helped harvest, and helped with the chopping, peeling. (to this day, i HATE peach fuzz and juice running down my arms)
Mom’s kitchen was busy every summer with canning peaches, pears, making grape juice, apple sauce, parboiling beans for freezing in milk bags.. and lots of other vegetables too – all to feed her family.
I haven’t gotten into canning yet, but I have frozen quite a bit of our produce.. and hope to do more this summer/fall, and will share the experience with my readers as we harvest.
They’re good for your heart. 🙂