Gardening Magazine

Another Bean Surprise

By Mwillis
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:
Another Bean surprise
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.
Another Bean surprise
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.
Another Bean surprise
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.
Another Bean surprise
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:
Another Bean surprise
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:
Another Bean surprise

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