July 1, 2009: Granny and the Bean Stalk(s)

Yesterday I decided to do one last picking, then rip out the Burpee's Stringless Green Pod bush beans. The raspberries, in the same bed, really needed the room to send out next years canes, and the beans had certainly given me more than my money's worth. These seeds were purchased from a dollar store, and cost a whopping 50-cents for the three packets! I harvested around ten pounds of really nice beans from them, and they still had some small beans and blossoms on the vines when I pulled them out. You might think that was a waste of perfectly good plants, but two succession plantings of other varieties are producing now, and I'm seeing little beans on my pole beans as well. I think I'm going to be "beaned out" before long!

The 8' long bean patch "before".

The bean patch "after".

I just about had a real catastrophe after I finished pulling the vines. I had taken my camera to the garden, as usual, and I always hang it from a fence post between pictures. Well, I forgot to bring it in, and I turned on the sprinklers! After I rescued it, I dried it off as well as I could, took a couple of pictures, and it seemed to be just fine. But this morning I took a picture of the pile of vines, and it looked a bit odd. So I tried another picture, and the camera went into panoramic mode and wouldn't come out of it! Many of the settings wouldn't work, and all the photos were odd looking. I turned it on so the lens would come out, then took out the memory card and batteries, and set it out to dry. Fortunately, that worked.

I had a huge pile of vines to dispose of, but the lawnmower made quick work of it. They were bagged and then put in the compost bin.

Contender and Royal Burgundy bush beans on the left, Burpee Stringless Green Pod bush beans on the right. Berries rounded out last night's harvest.

I had a huge pot of beans to snap, blanch and freeze.

After giving my neighbor a pound of beans for her dinner, and giving in to my youngest son who called and begged for my "purple beans", I still had a good amount to put in the freezer.

Once they were frozen, I bagged them. I literally stuffed three pounds of beans into a gallon bag. I almost couldn't zip it shut!

Update on the New Garden Shed

I haven't shown any photos of the new garden shed lately, because we haven't made much progress since the last time. John (our son) is using recycled OSB for the interior walls (he also used it as exterior sheathing). Only the roof and my work bench got new OSB. The cabinets are recycled as well, and the paint I'm using inside is some exterior satin that was mixed for our house last year, and they goofed on the color. So I guess you could say the paint is recycled too. It's slow going, as everything needs a coat of primer first, and the OSB's rough texture makes painting it a bit difficult.

I painted these walls and the cabinets this morning. I'll probably get the drawers painted tomorrow. We still need to install baseboard molding and a threshold under the back door.

The left side of the 8' workbench will hold the 4' mini-greenhouse, and there will be deep shelves underneath for potting mixes, pots, etc. Pegboard is for my small gardening tools.

It's a mess!

But, excluding the ceiling, about half finished.

Wednesday's Garden Dinner

Fried Chicken Tenders (parsley garnish)
Creamed New Potatoes & Peas (potatoes & peas)
Corn on the Cob (local, from farmer's market)
Iced Raspberry Green Tea
Fresh Strawberries with Vanilla Yogurt (strawberries)


  1. Can I come over for dinner? :-)
    Wow! look at all those beans... I would run out of idea's on how to cook them :-)

  2. Liisa, of course you can come for dinner! I guess I should blog all my bean recipes ;-) My favorite takes fresh tomatoes (I'm quite sure I already blogged the recipe last fall), so I'm waiting...and waiting...and waiting....

  3. Great harvest and the meal made me hungry again. I am going to gain weight reading your blog. I usually get to your site about 9:30 or 10 pm and dinner has been long enough ago ... that when I see these meal pictures... my stomach starts suggesting a snack might be a good idea! LOL!

    I did a similar thing with my camera recently but I noticed immediately when I turned on the water and dashed over to rescue it. No harm done thankfully. My digital camera is one of the few electronic toys (along with my actual pc) that I really and truly use often and would be lost without.

  4. KitsapFG, I'd be lost without my digital camera and my laptop! They are like growths on my side, LOL!

  5. Your beans really did produce well...just like everything you're growing.

    Am I remembering right that you planted your raspberries and strawberries earlier this year? It looks like your raspberry canes are much taller than mine are.

  6. 10 pounds of green beans??? Wow!!!

    I hope I get lots of beans for food storage!!!! I'm starting to see some flowers...

    I left my Canon PowerShot s400 out in the rain one night. Let it dry outside the next day... no problem at all! Thankfully!!!

  7. Cheryl, yes...I put in four dormant raspberry canes and 20 day neutral strawberry plants. The raspberries are really putting out strong suckers for next year, and I'm happy with what I'm getting off of the strawberries for their first crop. I need to get the onions out of the other half of the strawberry bed, so I have a place to plant runners.

  8. Toni, that 10 pounds was off of just one variety! I don't think the others will be that generous.

  9. Wow! The shed is going to be wonderful-it's more like a house! You're spoiled, ya know it???

  10. I'm so glad you were able to rescue your camera! What a relief for you.
    I'd like some of those strawberries, yummy. Mine are still just little flowers.

  11. thank goodness you got your camera working!

  12. I can't believe your beans put out a weight like that. I must be picking mine too scrawny.

    We didn't much like the "purple beans." They're fun to grow, but too fuzzy and squeak when you chew them.

  13. OH! That shed is HUGE on the inside. You're going to love it.

  14. I think I'd run screaming the other way with 10lbs of beans. What would I do with it all? I guess I'd give it away, just like you are :>

  15. Sue, if I were spoiled, somebody else would be doing the shed painting!

    Hidinginmygarden, before long you'll have the strawberries and I'll be the one wanting yours! I'm quite happy with my 20 plants, hopefully I'll have 3-4 times that many by this time next year.

    Kelli, YES! Me without a camera would be a personal disaster!

    Ribbit, I pick them quite small, before any beans form inside. I did find a few I'd missed earlier, but none so large they were tough or stringy. I HATE squeaky beans! I don't have a problem with them if I cook them long enough. I find 8-10 minutes to be about right. Or maybe it's that I add so much butter to them they are well lubricated ;-) Yes, I'm going to love the shed....IF it ever gets finished. Everything that goes in there is still on my patio.

    Daphne, or freeze them. I have two one-gallon bags of them in the freezer now, and more on the way. I wish it were corn :-)

  16. WOW! 3 bush bean packets for 50 cents? I thought I was doing good with 20 cent bush bean packets. You go thrifty granny! "go granny go granny go granny go!"

    Sounds like something I would do with the camera! I am so glad that you fixed it. You go girl.

    That's a lot of beans! I guess that was from the harvest of the bush beans you took out? Wow. I am envious. We never have enough to freeze after we have had our nightly green bean fest.

    The shed looks great! How are you going to provide light for the mini-green houses? Do you have electricity hooked up?

    Dinner looks fantastic. Did you harvest your potatoes already or just reached in for a couple? I have some plants that have died and I am dying to harvest them. Maybe I will just harvest those! hehe

  17. JenGC, there weren't a lot of beans per packet, but I got two 8' rows from three pkts. @ 6 for $1. I got buttercrunch lettuce and two kinds of marigolds for the other 50-cents! And yes, about ten pounds of beans from them, so that's a nickel a pound!

    The shed has electricity, overhead shop lights x 2, and 12 plugins. The mini greenhouse is one my son made for me this spring, and it has two 4-foot shop lights in it.


    The photo is with the lights raised, but they are adjustable. I think we're going to add a shelf and put in two more shop lights. It's 3' high, so more than enough room for a second shelf & lights.

    I stole a few potatoes from one plant last week, then later in the week dug it up for the rest of them. I'm going to go dig or steal some more today. If your plants have died, they are ready to harvest...if they died a natural death, that is!

  18. I'm so glad to see other people mention squeaky beans! Mine were squeaky last year (and it drives me a little nuts). I could never quite figure out how to describe it, but squeaky is perfect!!

    Have you ever tried your beans with a little milk & butter (& a bit of pepper)?

  19. Amy, Squeaky beans are like fingernails on a chalk board! Sometimes I buy frozen sir fry veggies, and if they have beans I remove them, because they are always squeaky. If mine squeak, I cook them longer. I have made creamed beans like you describe, but I add a little flour to the melted butter, cook it a bit, stir in the milk and then toss in the beans and season to taste.

  20. Ha! I froze a lot last year and I still have frozen beans. This year with the weather I think I won't get too many though. Maybe just the right amount. I want to freeze them, but not freeze gallons and gallons of them.

  21. Daphne, I wouldn't mind a freezer full of green beans, but I still have a huge bag full that I bought from Costco before my beans came on! I'm glad my boys beg for them.

  22. Wow -- I take a few days off and miss what feels like dozens of posts (and pounds and pounds of green beans!). Your garden sure sings the praises of good soil, good water, and hard work.

  23. Stefaneener, You'd better catch up. I've got bloggin' fever ;-) There's no stopping me!

  24. Wow, you insulated your garden shed?? I wasn't thinking of doing that, but this is a great idea!