Bean Trials 2008: Some Reports from the Fields
No Market Saturday

More News from the Trial Garden

Of course things never grow fast enough but it's hard to complain. After an erratic Spring with Biblical heat waves and cruel cold snaps, it's been pretty steady here in Napa: marine layer mornings that burn off to hot afternoons.

Field-one

The plants that are doing the best are volunteer amaranth and tomatillos. The weed purslane is doing fine as well. When I was growing tomatoes, I'd always plant two Early Girls to not get frustrated while waiting for the rest of the heirloom varieties to ripen. With beans, the one to pick for my area is called California. It's a little slow to germinate but it once it does, it thrives and blossoms almost immediatley and so far it's always been the first one to have beans. I would think in a good year you might even get away with two crops. The problem is that the final beans are kind of ugly.

Field-three  

The most stubborn bean has been the small red lima from Chiapas. It's nearly September and it seemed like not a single flower, let alone a bean. And then almost overnight it produced inconsequential flowers followed by small thin beans!

Field-two

The prettiest flowers are always the runner beans. I saw the flowers for sale in a market in Oaxaca. If the season threatens to end early, remember you can harvest the flowers and eat them like sprouts, toss them in a salad or saute them with chiles for a taco filling.

Field-four


Comments

bmommy

Oh, if only my beans looked like that this year!! It`s only my first year with a garden, so I`m gonna hope for better next year. Love your blog...I just started one, too...
www.bmommy1.blogspot.com

Charlotte

My runners are finally producing and they're so pretty! They're on the trellis at the back of the garden and they make a gorgeous green "fence" ... now I'm licking my chops at the thought of fresh white cannellini beans ...

John

Eat the purslane! It's incredibly good for you!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)