Friday, September 13, 2013

Late Summer Beans



 
New haricots verts and the promise of more
Yesterday I picked my first batch of the second wave of haricots verts.   I’m so excited! Slim little things hanging in clusters off a small patch of French green beans that I planted about six weeks ago in a spot that earlier in the season had held leeks.  

Though truly organized gardeners usually get in a whole series of plantings of fall crops, sometimes well into the fall -- and then they cover them and carry them through February winters like the one we had last year -- I often miss getting a second planting of anything in the garden. But this year weather, energy and timing coincided to make it possible. My husband happened to be home at just the right time to plant, which helped tremendously. I had emptied and weeded (oh so much weeding this summer!) the beds, but he scooped out a lot of compost and spread it on them. I planted arugula, lettuce, kale (from saved seed that was given me by a young gardener friend). I also had a half of the packet of French beans from Cooks’ Garden leftover from the first planting, so emptied it into one of those fresh, beautifully rich-looking squares of earth.  In planting bush beans, I always put the seeds on top of the soil in a grid with each seed about six inches apart from its fellows. When they sprout, you need to weed a little, but as they grow they shade out the weeds. Convenient and efficient.
 Beans, arugula, lettuce and kale sown in early August

Three weeks of no rain here rather too me by surprise. I had gotten out of the habit of watering.  But several days ago – after Erica’s mention of having to get out the watering can, in fact – I filled a couple of five gallon buckets from the rain barrels by the shed and watered the haricots verts and the Calypso beans in the  bed that earlier had held the hardneck garlic, which came out in early July.

And so now, I have beans. And lots of blossoms that promise more beans. These first beans, nothing like the rather sad-looking things I’ve been seeing at the grocery store lately, are crisp, slimmer-than-pencil babies that taste wonderful. I sautéed half with a shallot for supper. Takes about eight minutes, and I have a couple of roasted golden beets in the frig for beet and bean salad for lunch tomorrow. I'm hoping for beans  until frost with maybe enough to put a few in the freezer in vaccum sealed bags. (I gave my hunter husband a vacuum sealer for his birthday a few years ago; it’s been a big help in keeping the quality and preventing freezer burn). Meanwhile, I'm grateful for this second flush of production. Summer’s not QUITE over!
Fresh-picked haricots verts
Sauteed beans and shallots for supper

4 comments:

  1. I'm not much for counting and weighing the harvest but I decided to try to follow one crop from beginning to end. In early April I planted a 16 ft. row of 'Contender" snap beans (54 plants). I picked six times between June 19 and July 2 for a total yield of 19.6 lbs.

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  2. Nice, Jon. Did you guys eat them all?

    I don't weigh and count much either -- except to be sure I have enough spaghetti sauce and canned tomatoes and bread and butter pickles to take us through the winter.

    Don't forget you and I are due to be on Dan Rodricks At Noon to talk about Grow It Eat It in early October!

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  3. I blanched and froze about 1/2 the harvest.
    Looking forward to talking about veg gardening with you Oct. 8 on WYPR!

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