Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Green and Yellow Bush Beans

I got my bush beans planted today.  Messy work.  I wanted to try the inoculant on them this year, even though it doesn't seem to have done the snap peas any favors.  No pods yet.  Anyway, after wetting the peas I rolled them in the inoculant, which makes for a brown gooey mess.

Jade Bush Beans in Inoculant
I was lazy and didn't build a formal "Square Foot Garden" square foot measurer.  I just lay two rulers down on the soil!  9 holes poked with a finger in each square foot, then later with a stick as it was so ooey-gooey, 9 seeds dropped into the holes, and patted them securely in.  Water.  Repeat in 2 weeks.  (I am conscious of the fact that I am not supposed to use the numerals 9 and 2 in those sentences, MLA demands we spell out the words, but this is a casual blog, so no nit-pickers allowed.)

Square Foot Gardening Holes
I lost track of how many I planted.  That is a mistake I often make.  I cover the seeds and then forget where they were!  I will count them when they sprout. The germination rate for these seeds is high, minimum of 80%. 
There are both green green beans (Jade) and yellow Romano beans (Capitano). Both varieties are bush beans.  I have grown bush beans before with good success, one of the few things I can say that about!  I love the look of pole beans, but they are too much trouble.  The yellow are in the watermelon bed, which may turn out to be a mistake if the watermelon ever grows. I am counting on the beans to be tall enough to hold their own by that time. 

Bush Bean Bed (shared with two tomatoes, catnip, flowers, and an eggplant!)
The lower left-hand corner of the above photo will be planted in 2 weeks.  That is called "sowing for a continuous harvest," on the packages!  Maybe there will be enough to freeze some. I don't know how to can.  Canning them changes their taste tremendously too.

My grandmother canned pole green beans (back when they were called "string" beans) every year.  She would plant on Good Friday; I don't know why.  On family visits she would, without fail, serve her home canned green beans and white bread, no matter what the main dish.  The beans were no longer green, but sort of grey due to over cooking. My grandmother didn't trust her own canning!  She would open a jar (since "canning" is in glass jars not cans, why is it called "canning?"), pour the beans into a pan, and simmer them for hours to kill any bacteria.  I don't know if it would have done so, but none of us ever got sick, so either it worked or her original canning was done correctly.  After she died we found a pantry full of canned beans.  She wouldn't put the new jars to the back and move the one's from the year before to the front. She just added more and more jars to the front of the shelf of beans.  Not knowing how many years ago the beans had been canned ("jarred!") we through them out.   My mother remembered lean years as a child when all they had to eat for dinner was green beans and bread.

Her soil was some of the best in the world.  Really.  Salinas, California, where she lived, has some of the best agricultural soil anywhere.  Coincidentally, my brother lives in another fertile area of California, where, not so fortunately, developers continue to pave it over.  My soil?  As mentioned before, I live in an agricultural valley, the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon, but my own back yard soil is clay.

No comments:

Post a Comment