Thursday, July 12, 2007

Snappy Beans

Check out my beans. These are the first of the season, picked just 47 days from sowing the seeds. That's pretty fast! Someone once said of my purple beans, Royalty Purple Pod (which I grew last year as well), "oh those must be hybrid". On the contrary, they are heirlooms, as are the other two types pictured above. When cooked they turn green and you can't tell that they were ever that deep dark purple.

The ones all the way on the left are called Red Swan and I think they are gorgeous. I love the look of them. They're kind of a green base with a dusty rose shimmer. Sounds like lip gloss, dusty rose shimmer. If I googled "dusty rose shimmer lip gloss", I wonder what would come up. These also turn green when cooked. A really great bright green.

The yellow ones are wax beans. A pretty yellow that reminds me of bananas, especially since they curve the way they do. They taste pretty much the same as the other beans. They stay yellow when cooked.

Speaking of heirlooms, what exactly does that mean in terms of vegetables? I mean I planted it 47 days ago, how can it be an heirloom? Recently, the term heirloom has become a buzz word, and heirlooms have gained popularity. I think that is a good thing, the popularity that is, especially with the whole genetically modified food controversy. If you're growing something that is the same seed that your grandma's grandma handed down, you know it's safe. So in gardening, an heirloom is defined as an open pollinated (that means non-hybrid) variety, introduced 50 years ago or more, that has been passed down from generation to generation, by people who have kept the seeds pure. Many, not all, but most of what I am growing this year in the veggie garden are heirloom varieties and all from reputable sources. Some less ethical seed sources have been known to "create" an heirloom, calling something an heirloom that isn't, and that just aint right.

Beans, beans, beans... I've started calling them just beans since I started growing them. Growing up, I always called these things string beans. In the grocery store, they were marked green beans. Then when I started growing them and looked at seeds and reading stuff, it turns out they are now called snap beans. They used to be string beans, but that was when there was a fibrous string that ran the length of the bean. Now through selective breeding, you don't have to have the string in the bean anymore. In my mind, they had been string beans because they are long and stringy, but that's not the real reason. I still think of them as string beans. Don't really want to call them green beans because they aren't exactly green to start (although I am growing some plain old green ones too). So, I'll have to gradually convert to calling them snap beans. I think I like snappy beans better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love eating the snappy beans! Great photo.