Growing heirloom snap beans
This spring as I planned our garden, I wanted to make sure we planned heavy on produce that would get us through the winter – including lots of winter squash and dry beans. After Chad and I reviewed my plan, we realized that it was VERY bean heavy, so much so that we declared it “the year of the bean.” We even started musing about creating a bean festival, called of course, BeanStock.
We planted a section each of: dry pole beans, snap pole beans, dry bush beans, and snap bush beans, and put a few different varieties in each section. We made sure to to keep the bean sections easily identifiable so that we didn’t end up eating our dry beans as snaps.
Chad even made a bean teepee out of some old sticks, and planted runner beans around it.
With all our talking and thinking about beans, I was pretty thrilled when it was time to harvest our first snap beans. I went out to the garden and gathered up a big bowl full.
Louie decided to help with inspection as I weighed this first harvest.
These are the varieties pictured above, in clockwise order, starting at the top: Beurre de Rocquencourt bush beans (Adaptive Seeds), Musica romano pole beans (Territorial Seeds), Four Bean Mix bush beans (Uprising Seeds), and Cupidon bush beans (Adaptive Seeds).
We both LOVED the colors of the four bean mix – dark purple, fuschia-ish, and white with purple speckling. We had some wilting bean plants that we removed early in the season, apparently removing all of the 4th bean varieties in our Four Bean Mix.
This is the first time I have cooked such a colorful variety of green beans. I was curious to see what would happen to the color when cooked. Well, the green and yellow beans stayed green and yellow. The purple and fushia ones turned green, and the white and purple speckled ones turned yellow!
To cook these I just threw them into a covered pan with some olive oil, a little water, and some minced garlic and cooked until tender.
Tastewise, they were utterly delicious. As for texture, the Four Bean mix were extremely stringy and the pods were tough. I love the taste and the color of the Beurre de Rocquencourt – and the fact that they have a French name. The first beans of the season were so welcome on our plates and to our summer-hungry palates!