bean season

well, actually it has been bean season for a while
now, :) but in the scramble of the past few days
trying to get all the gardens picked through before
the rains came along it seemed extra pointed.
three days of picking and about a day and a half
of shelling to get them all caught up again.
once again we decided that shelly lima beans must
be close to our favorites. Mom helped pick through
the lima beans so i could spend the time on all the
rest that were ready. so in the evening i sat and
shelled out the green lima beans and cooked up some
right away when i had enough ready to go and then
we ate those and i went back to finish the rest of
them. had almost two quarts. then last night i
finished up shelling all the dried beans. some of
the nicest lima beans i've grown so far and not too
many defects. they were planted a few weeks later
than normal and also in a garden with more sandy
soil. also i put down some worms/worm compost for
them since that sandy soil is very poor
(intentionally so when i created that garden as i
thought the tulips would do better - they didn't).
this was my 2nd year growing a bean called Purple
Dove. last year they were one of my selections to
try out and they were only marked as a dry bean.
last year i sampled a few young pods and noted that
they were an excellent sweet flavor so i planted a
lot of them for this year so i could trial them as
a fresh bean along with making sure to leave enough
for dry bean cooking too. as it turned out my first
impression was accurate and they make an excellent
fresh bean (steamed for about 8 minutes when picked
after a few weeks the pods get a more fiberous
texture and a bitter hint to them but that is ok as
you can just leave them for dry bean production. we
ate fresh picked about half the crop. i figure a
plant produced about 200 seeds which is way beyond
most of the rest of the bush beans grown here.
other positive traits are a more upright habit
and they finish early (by the first week of September
they are mostly done) and i also like that they are
purple podded so the beans are easy to see when
downsides, yes there are a few, they can be
Japanese Beetle magnets and you don't want to shell
out the beans too early from the pods. if you are
looking to harvest in the face of on-coming rains
leave the pods to dry in box tops or flats and then
shell them out later.
i haven't yet cooked up any dry beans from them
but we'll be doing that eventually. since they
were given to me as a dry bean i'm pretty sure the
flavor and texture will be ok with these. they're
not a large bean or a particularly dense bean
either so they should cook up on the shorter side.
we'll see...
i'm going to keep growing these for sure as we
both enjoyed eating them fresh and so it will be
interesting to see how many cross breeds i can
come up with in the future.
another bean grown for the 2nd season is called
Dappled Grey and is dry bean for sure. the first
season it did well here so i planted more to have
enough to cook up some to see how they taste. they
did pretty well again so i'll keep growing these if
they turn out to taste ok (i don't see why they won't
i've not yet found a bean i didn't like). the fun
thing with these beans is that the first season i
ended up getting a bean i called Monster because
the plant was huge and it had tons of beans, but
they were not true to what was planted. this year
i planted a handful of Monster beans to see what
they would do and i ended up getting about half a
dozen different kinds including the interesting
aspects of Dappled Grey. i'm calling it a reversion
to parental type but perhaps it was a cross breed
that happened which destabilized the rest of the
genes so that they are coming out in other
selections. in any case, almost all of these other
types are productive large plants. so worth keeping
them growing here or there too in the mix...
in harvesting though, i'm realizing that almost
50 beans is a bit too many because not only do i
track of them all, i also try to keep track of which
plants are early and make further selections to
continue developing seed lines (like which beans
are early because i want some beans to finish by
early September so not everyhing is coming ripe and
ready to pick at one time). for this tiny room i
run out of space...
next season i'll have to downsize a bit in what i
plant... :) hard to pick what to plant though when
i keep finding interesting beans and also have new
cross breeds showing up to see what happens next...
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I planted 12 different pumpkins/winter-squash this year. Like you, I think I'll plant just a few of our favorites next year. It gets kind of confusing , following the vines from the home hills to the fruit to determine which i s which. My wife will rate them and we'll plant 4 or 5 next year. So far, t he Butter Cup is the favorite for squash a dinner side dish. The Dickenson and Yuxijiang gave a good yield of orthodox pumpkins; my wife will determin e which make the best pies over the next couple of months.
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i think buttercup might be used to make pies too. yum!
oh, i see, butternut (which i don't really like much at all in comparison to the buttercup or kobochas).
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