Some Crops Aren’t Worth A Hill Of Beans

It took me several years to get a single bean plant to grow in my garden. To my delight last year not just one plant grew, but an entire garden of them sprouted, flourished and produced beans for months. We had more beans from our plants than we could eat or give away. I canned them, froze them, ate them, and when we finally couldn’t find another thing to do with them, I looked into how to dry them.

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Being the frugal gardener that I want to be, I couldn’t let a single bean go to waste. For months I let the beans sit on the plants undisturbed and at the end of October I harvested all the dry pods. Although my efforts were rewarded, they were not rewarded as well as I would have liked.

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Although I’d like to grow as much of our food as possible, for a suburban housewife this is one crop that isn’t worth the effort. That is at least not for the purpose of harvesting dry beans.

I love having had the success last year with our beans, but I am also very content this year that my bean crop failed, and for this I am — Simply Grateful. I know that must sound wrong, but check out my post at Simply Grateful Gardener To Bean Or Not To Bean for the whole story.

My First Time Beaning A Success

For the last two years I struggled to grow beans in my garden. I know, I know, beans are supposed to be one of the easiest garden plants to grow. How could I possibly fail at that?  Easy, I planted them with companion plants that killed or stunted them to a point of failure. This was when I had no idea it mattered what you planted where. I thought I just had a black thumb, but it turns out I was just ignorant.

This year as I planned the various gardens around the house I paid special attention to which plants would do well with each other. Beans were a difficult one to place, but finally, after scratching my first two plans, I placed the bean garden next to the cucumber A-frame.

I planted the bean seeds directly into the garden and waited. After what seemed like forever the tiny seedlings began to sprout and fairly quickly the plants began to take off. The bean plants have grown so much that I finally had to begin staking the plants so they would stand up tall and not fall all over each other.

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The two rows closest to the house are pole beans, which have just begun to flower. The three rows of beans in front of the pole beans are purple, yellow, and green bush beans.

Yesterday, as I was tying a few more bean plants to yet more stakes, I noticed something…

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BEANS!

Yep, I guess the third year is the charm for me when it comes to beans because today for dinner we enjoyed our first harvest ever of home-grown beans! I picked just enough purple, yellow and green beans for a meal.

The only surprise when I cooked them was that the purple beans turned green! Bummer. It would have been cool to eat a purple bean, but the taste of these fresh from the garden beans was delicious. A little butter, a little garlic, and just a touch of parmesan cheese — MMM, MMM, good.

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I almost gave up trying to grow our own beans, but decided to give it one more try, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.