Tuesday 1 September 2015

Another Bean surprise

Earlier this year I described how I ended up having yellow "Kentucky Wonder Wax" beans instead of green "Kentucky Wonder". Now I have a further surprise... I planted what I thought were four identical "Kentucky Wonder" (or whatever) plants, but now I find that one of them is an impostor - it is producing green pods:

The cane nearest the camera supports two of the "Kew Blue" beans, whose dark stems are unmistakeable. The further cane supports the yellow / green beans.

The pods of this new type are a very pale green, and the beans inside are very prominent. I think they are probably a variety intended to be used for the production of so-called "Shelling Beans" - i.e. ones for drying. That's probably what I'll do, although for obvious reasons I am unlikely to get a big crop.

The other beans have raised their game after a shaky start, beset with blackfly. We have had a fair bit of heavy rain just recently, which I think has done the beans a lot of good. There are lots of new pods forming.

I have picked plenty to keep us supplied with fresh beans for the kitchen, but I have also managed to freeze about 1.5kgs of them - some Runners and some of the Kew Blue.

I slice the pods and open freeze them on baking-trays, then bag them up, 200g to a bag, which makes a 2-person serving.

It is important to keep picking beans. If you leave the pods to become over-mature the plant will stop forming pods. This is why I even pick the odd few that never really develop and end up looking like this:

There's a bean inside that pod, which might well be a viable seed for next year, but the pod itself is not useable.

Something that we really look forward to eating in the depths of Winter is Runner Beans from the freezer cooked in home-made Tomato sauce (also from the freezer). To this end, I have just completed our first batch of sauce:


  1. Well hopefully your mystery bean will provide some nice shelling beans. Sometimes you just never know what you are going to get.

  2. Snap beans stewed with tomatoes is a favourite dish of mine as well - I usually make it in a deep frying pan and plop a couple of eggs into it so that they are poached in the liquid of the tomatoes. So good!

    1. I've never tried that. It sounds like it might be good though. :)

  3. As you will have seen from my blog post yesterday our runner beans and French beans were just about dead looking back in June and now we can't pick the beans fast enough.


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