Holy Horticulture Beans! Would you look at these beauties?
Wow did we score - the Good Neighbors spent the other day canning 32 pints of beans and they still had 2 five gallon buckets of them. Did I want them? Sure I did!
Regionally these beautiful pink and cream beans are known as "Horticulture Beans" but I think they go by other names. To me these look like some of the Italian varieties - so you can bet your brushetta there is gonna be some pasta y fagioli coming soon.
I was able to find some seeds for my garden at a local feed store but Ed Hume also sells the seeds. I'd never even heard of them but when the Good Neighbors gave me a can last year, well, it was love at first bite. You can use them for just about anything - ours may be used like pinto beans for refried beans, in stews, in a savory baked bean pot, or just as a side dish.
To grow Horticulture Beans, just like any bean, stick 'em in the ground and stand back. However, unlike fresh green beans, let these guys mature on the vine before you pick them. Wait until the pods start getting dried out then bring in your haul and make yourself comfortable. Shelling beans is easy and fun. Just grab an empty bucket for the pods, crack open a pod, and let the fresh and lovely beans fall into a clean bowl. Last nite while I was watching So You Think You Can Dance I shelled a big pile of them. Easy peasy.
You can compost the leavin's or any beans that are too far gone, or do like I am later today - toss them in an empty garden row and see if any sprout.Of course, keep some for seeds next year - just let them get good and dried out in the pod before storage.
Canning is just as easy. Check out how I canned some pinto beans - its basically the same process. Pickyourown.org is a great site for canning know-how. I swear, once you can your own beans you'll never go back to buying them in the store. Sound like a lot of work? Nope and besides, what else are you gonna do? Might as well do something useful.
While we're talking about canning.... I was in one of those big stores the other day and noticed a no-name/store-name box of canning jars for a dollar or so less than my regular brand.. Folks, everyone has to make their own decisions, but I tell you the truth - that Made in the USA label gets my dollars every time. So I picked up my case of Ball Canning Jars and marched up to the cashier to vote for American jobs with my money.
Is everyone canning today? I've got a batch of tomato sauce finishing up right now. Beans are next and then we'll see what else I can get done today.
Happy Friday everyone!