Hope you all are having a wonderful Labor Day weekend!!! This weekend always signals the end of summer, and for those of us that don’t like winter, it’s sorrowfully sweet! But here in Kansas, we can count on the warm weather to last a while longer. Today it’s going to be around 95 degrees, and it doesn’t feel like the end of summer at all.
The garden also tends to notice that the end of the season is drawing near. Plants are in full bloom and the vegies we’ve been waiting for all summer are ripening and producing like mad. The red peppers are growing large and finally turning red, and so are the tomatoes (if you need any come find me!). After waiting all summer, my pole bean plants are in full bloom too, and just yesterday I picked a whole bunch.
You can look back to my post earlier this summer, here, where I outlined planting the pole beans and using a teepee as a support for their growth. When the plants begin to grow in, you can help them twine around the poles and they will take off growing. My only issue was as the plants grew larger, their weight caused the teepee structure to lean, and I had to reinforce the posts by pushing them a little further into the ground.
Full grown bean plants will start to produce pretty, small white flowers. Once these flowers wilt, a baby bean will begin to grow. You have to let them mature before picking, or they won’t taste quite right. To pick the beans you just cut or snap them off the vine. You’ll need to keep picking the mature beans to keep your plant from going to seed. Plan on picking every two to three days. While picking my beans I ran into two large grasshoppers that were hiding in the plant and nearly caused me to have a heart attack. . . hopefully the neighbors didn’t see me scream and jump! I literally had to get the hose and spray them off the plant!
After harvesting a bunch of beans, I brought them inside to clean up. To do this, fill a clean sink with enough water to cover the beans, add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, and let them soak for a bit. Next rinse, and cook!
The best part was cooking these up in my favorite Old Fashioned Green Beans recipe:
Makes 12 servings
Prep 12 minutes; Cook 1 hour
1/2 lb. double-smoked bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 lb. green beans, trimmed
1 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 to 3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat 10 minutes or until browned and crisp. Add onion, and saute 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in green beans, red pepper, and salt. Add enough water to cover green beans. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce hear, and simmer 40 to 45 minutes or until beans are very tender. Drain beans, and transfer to a bowl. Add butter and vinegar, toss well. Serve hot.
What vegetables are you harvesting from your garden? Do you have a recipe that you use for your pole beans? Please let me know your thoughts if you try my green bean recipe. Bon Appetite!