Are You "Green Bean" With Envy?

After months of waiting to plant in the garden, the first of the warm season crops have come in, green beans.  These are so very good fresh from the garden.  I don’t know why I waited so long to start planting these, they have been very easy to grow.

From the description in the seed catalog, “Valentine” sounded like a good choice in a green bean so I decided to give it a try.  I am so glad that I did.  Last year and this year, the seeds germinated well and came up quick.  Once the seeds break ground it only takes about 3-4 weeks and you have green beans for your dinner.  The first picking I had enough for dinner, the second picking I had enough for dinner two nights and to fill a gallon bag.  Not bad for one week’s time!  Being that Valentine is a heirloom variety, I will let the beans ripen and turn brown on the plants so that I can save the seeds and plant them again next year.  However, I won’t let that happen until the very end of the season.  Once a plant thinks its job is done by producing offspring, it will quit producing.

A lovely plant making green beans for me.

Fresh green beans are hard to beat when it comes to flavor.  Grown organically, they are as good for your body and health as they are for the soil.  Beans will fix nitrogen from the air into the soil.  Given that, it is good to follow green beans with a heavy feeding crop like tomatoes or corn.

With good mulch and moderate water, green beans grow easily and produce very well.  If production keeps the pace, this 2ft X 8ft bed will make enough for us to eat regularly and freeze enough to use through the off season.  I also plan to plant again at the end of August for a fall garden.

Here is the recipe that will make anyone love green beans:

Basic Green Beans

2 tblsp butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1/2- 1 lb of fresh green beans (frozen beans can be used)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (water will work in a pinch)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Melt butter in medium sauce pan.  Add onion and cook until softened then add garlic.  Stir until garlic is slightly browned.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Add green beans , salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.  Boil until desired tenderness- about 10 minutes.  When you are using fresh green beans break the ends off and then snap the beans in half, this makes for easy eating.

If you want to kick this up another southern notch, add a tablespoon of bacon fat to the pot when you add the green beans then bring to a boil.  That is what makes southern cooking so good!


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