Sunday, October 5, 2014

green beans and dried beans

Temperatures dipped into the 30's last night. It was a full on effort by everyone to pull every tender vegetable and herb off the field.

We handed out beans as part of of CSA shares for a number of weeks. Green and purple podded string beans and Lima beans too.

Mostly beans hate cold. Peas don't mind but beans are not happy. Actually, if the state of the bean vines are any indication, the beans gave up a bit ago.

Funny thing about beans. What might look like junk to some looks like delicious winter eats to the farmer.

Each of those ugly looking, shriveled up, dried out looking beans holds a stack of beautiful and tender these:

Beans, dried on the vine. As we crack open the dry and hard shell, these beans fall out. They don't get dehydrated or anything, they go into a mason jar and used all winter.

We used to buy bags of beans. And canned beans too. Some of that is in our pantry. 

But the beans we grow, allow to dry to this ugly stage, crack open and later add to any pot of goodness don't require overnight soaking and all day cooking. 

We grow heirloom varieties for just this reason. Good eating as tiny string beans or chopped and stir fried when larger or simmered for a bit when big, the string beans are great.

Dried on the vine and added to our cold weather pots of whatever we have, these beans make a creamy, almost sweet addition to the pot. And are done in 4-5 hours, still hold their shape and really add to a meal.

Trash or treasure? It all depends on perspective. 

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