Friday, July 16, 2010

Chapter 7 Pole Beans and Three Bean Salad

The traditional Bean Patch

For years my good wife Nancy has always planted a ‘bean patch’. She always plants ‘wax beans’ (yellow), regular green beans and pole beans. I turned over the soil by hand, with a pitch fork, raked it smooth and she planted the pole beans and regular beans.

This year Nancy was unable to locate the yellow bean seeds for a while; it seemed all the stores were out of them. She finally found some packets of wax bean seeds and I planted them for her. I was amazed how quickly they germinated. It was less than a week. Of course, I could not wait to tell her, “Wifey, guess what? Your wax beans are up!” I escorted her back to the garden and she was all smiles when we got there. Her bean patch was now complete.

A Trellis is functional & decorative

You can see in the picture that the Pole Beans are really coming along. I use a few Trellises for the Pole beans to climb on. You achieve three benefits when using a trellis; 1) you give the beans something to climb on and boy do they want to climb. If the trellis were five feet taller I am sure they would climb five more feet. 2) You give the plant more sunlight because there is nothing to shade the plant, like another plant in front of it, because they grow six feet at least. And 3) “Easy pickings”. When it comes time for Nancy to harvest her beans (our beans I should say) it is easy to pick them because they are easily accessible on the trellis. I have used a trellis with pickling cucumbers and it works like a charm. If you have never tried a trellis for your pole beans, it will give you greater convenience.

Nancy recently said, " Green beans, tomatoes and cucumbers would be all I need for a meal." They are that delicious; with a little butter and salt. MM mm Good. I love it also when she makes home made Three Bean Salad. I think I will get her recipe and post it. Why go to the deli when you can make it fresh? You can have fun adding your own special seasonings and herbs from the garden. I can't wait for the harvest. We will have fresh beans in a few weeks.

Nancy's recipe for Three Bean Salad

Nancy has been making her own Three Bean Salad for years. I thought some of you might enjoy trying the recipe.

Place the following in a large bowl:
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of green beans
1 can of wax beans
Add onion slices- thin
Add chopped green pepper
Add celery sliced thin
Add celery seed
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Stir and place in refrigerator

When our beans are ripe we use our own; otherwise we buy canned beans from the grocery store. You can actually make the salad in the morning and eat it in the evening; but I prefer a few days in the refrigerator so the flavors have more time to blend. Three bean salad is so delicious. Please let us know how you liked the recipe. See you in the Garden.

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