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