Second Wind, And Firsts

Just earlier today I was whining about our lack of beans this summer whilst I was admiring Ohiofarmgirl’s score of some great looking beans from an Amish neighbor. So, after lunch I thought I would mosey down to the garden, mainly to pick okra but also to check on our pole beans. I’m glad I took the harvest bucket with me because – surprise surprise, we got beans!

harvest of pole beans (click on any image to enlarge)

Since we haven’t had much rain in the last 7 weeks I’ve been running the soaker hose on selected parts of the garden, including the pole beans. It looks like it has paid off. They put on some new growth, started blooming, and now we’ve got beans. And not a moment too soon for my tastes.

We like to freeze veggies for our winter soups, and so far this year there haven’t been many beans for the mix. I got the pole beans planted late due to our wet spring, and then the weather turned hot and dry just as they started blooming. That left most of the first flush of beans withering on the vine, literally.


mix of beans

Today I got just over three pounds of beans. That’s enough to cook a mess of them and freeze some as well. It’s a mix of flat, round, green and yellow beans. The Fortex are still under-performing, which is a shame because they are one of my favorites. But that’s one reason I plant several varieties. This year the Blue Lake Stringless are doing well, as are Marengo, Helda and Emerite. The yardlong beans are going crazy too, and that’s a good thing. We had some of them last night stir fried.


Better Belle pepper

And while the pole beans are getting their second wind, there are some firsts in the garden as well. The sweet peppers are finally starting to ripen. I put the soaker hose on them and the eggplants too, and they have responded. The hot peppers didn’t seem to mind the hot and dry conditions nearly as much.


Hot Yummy pepper is turning orange

And speaking of hot peppers, I’ve got one really different one I’ve been growing for a couple of years now. It came from a packet of Yummy sweet peppers. Yummy is an open pollinated, sweet mini bell pepper that is orange at maturity and one of our favorites. In 2009, one Yummy seedling was different. The plant produced long green peppers that looked like an Anaheim type. So I figured I had mixed up the seedlings. But then the peppers ripened to a lovely shade of orange. And instead of being sweet, they were fiery hot – more like a serrano. So I saved seed from the Hot Yummy, not knowing if they would stay true to form or not. Last year I planted a couple of them, and sure enough they were the same peppers I have come to call Hot Yummy. So this year I planted them again, and I’m going to save more seeds from them. I’ve got lots of seeds from the 2009 peppers, but I’m not sure how long they will be viable. So hopefully I will have enough seeds this year to offer some to those interested in growing a really different hot pepper.


Thai White Ribbed eggplant

Another first for this year is the Thai White Ribbed eggplant. I got a sample seed packet from Baker Creek last year and thought I’d give it a try. The first one is setting on now, and it looks to be interesting.


Thai Long Green eggplant

Another eggplant just now coming on is the Thai Long Green. It’s growing here for the first time too. There’s such a large number of diverse looking eggplants out there from all over the world, and I want to grow them all!


Rosa Bianca eggplant

Also coming on is the heirloom Italian eggplant Rosa Bianca. It’s a real beauty, and tasty too, with mild white flesh.


lots of basil ready for pesto

Now I’m off to make a batch of pesto. I’ve got a new recipe I want to try, using pistachios and pecorino cheese. A friend went to a cooking class and said the pesto was the star of the night. So she shared the recipe, and we’re going to give it a try. If it’s any good I’ll let you know.


Evening Sun sunflower

I’ll close with a photo of my new favorite sunflower, Evening Sun. It just opened its first blossom, and I can see why it’s so popular. I will be saving seeds from this one and growing it next year for sure. Thanks again to Lynn for sharing the seeds with me!

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7 Responses to Second Wind, And Firsts

  1. GrafixMuse says:

    Such a beautiful sunflower. It is so perfect that it looks almost fake. I too felt like I was waiting and waiting for beans, but now harvest a colander full every other day. Once they begin, they seem to produce very well. Hot Yummy must have been quite a surprise.

  2. Daphne says:

    I wish my beans would come in more evenly. I get masses of them (for me) and then none.

  3. It sounds like you had the exact same spring and summer that we did, with the exact same results vis-a-vis the beans. My pole beans have JUST started producing again, we are having the first flush for dinner. Lots and lots of small ones on the vines, and I’m sure we’ll have a lot to put up later.

    Your eggplants look wonderful — I hope that you are making some babaganoush with them.

    When you are ready to disseminate those Yummy Hot pepper seeds I would LOVE To have some. We are always looking for a tasty hot pepper, and the more fiery the better.

  4. kitsapFG says:

    I am waiting for my first pole beans still – our weather was just plain cool all year and the pole beans had trouble first germinating, then attacked by pests, and then pouted because they were cold. The good news is that I will be getting a light but late harvest from them as the weather warmed up for the last few weeks of August and they were ready to launch.

    Love that sunflower – so pretty!

  5. Mike R says:

    If there’s one vegetable I can eat everyday it’s snap beans. I wonder if heat is the default for peppers. Sounds like the breeders tried to eliminate the heat from that variety and some got through. I’ve noticed some varieties of paprika produce a semi hot pepper once in a while.

  6. Great things going on in your garden! I also have a Thai Green Long Eggplant but mine has yet to set fruit. I hope it hurries before our season is over!

  7. mac says:

    That’s a beautiful perfect looking sunflower you have there.
    My pole beans are not doing anything this year, I got tire of waiting and pulled them, but the volunteer yard long beans are going crazy, they grow much better than I planted them myself.

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