I seem to be a creature of habit, and this is causing bean issues in my garden.

I like to think I’m a bit of an adventurous spirit and live by the philosophy of “try everything once and the fun things twice” hence we will not be growing sugar beet again – great idea in theory, but if you miss the short window of opportunity between too small to harvest and too late to harvest, they are very bitter and really yucky!

So unless it was a really dramatic reaction of pure disgust from the family (kid reactions to zucchini is the exception – they can hate them all they like – I think they are yummy, so it’s: “I went to the effort of growing them so you WILL go to the effort of eating them!”), then the seeds in my collection are the ones I’ll grow.  This isn’t generally a problem as who doesn’t like to nibble on fresh peas while working in the garden, or making a fresh salad out of sun warm tomatoes.  Freshly dug potatoes on Christmas morning are almost compulsory and being able to answer a hungry kid with “go pull up a carrot” is brilliant.

Fast Snack for hungry kids

So most of the things in my garden are in there because they are loved and appreciated and have a special place in our diets.  Except one group.  Beans.

A whole bed dedicated to beans - I must be crazy!

I don’t know what is wrong with me – why do I keep growing them? I have even have a whole bed dedicated to beans! We don’t actually like beans all that much.  Last years are still in the freezer, beside the bag of this year’s beans that is steadily filling up.  I started to ignore them thinking neglect would reduce the crop, but have started giving them away to those who would appreciate them.

Just a days harvest of the dreaded beans....

Our diet is not completely devoid of beans and the yellow butter beans aren’t that bad, but why did I plant Scarlet Runners?  I hate the feel of the bean pod is all rough and coarse and then when you eat them they are all stringy- bleuck! I only had the seed packet because I grew a bean pole tee-pee house for the kids to play in – but they didn’t.  Now we have Scarlet Runners self-seeding all over the place in some kind of bean taunt – nah nah nan nah nah!

Seeds can come from all sorts of places

We also eat a lot of tinned beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, baked beans, so this year I decided to see what I could do in the garden, so I bought a packet of dried four bean mix from the supermarket and popped them in the ground, so I have growing in my garden kidney beans, pinto beans, haricot beans and pink beans!  I’ve never actually cooked with dried beans before so I think the growing bit is going to be the easy bit as I understand you can make people sick if you don’t cook dried beans properly.  I think I’ll experiment on Hubby the Un-Gardener!

Before long these kidney beans will be in a super hot chilli con carne

I was wondering where I get this habitual nature from, and then I spent some time with my Dad who is such a creature of habit that everyone was joking that they could predict what he would choose from a menu at a restaurant none of us had been to before! – So that is where I get it – I am my father’s daughter and I will have to fight my genetic makeup so I don’t end up planting Scarlet Runner beans in my garden ever again!

Remind me never to plant this many bean seeds ever again!

Come again soon – You know another veggie I have been having trouble with is broccoli – but I only have myself to blame.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )


7 thoughts on “I seem to be a creature of habit, and this is causing bean issues in my garden.

  1. Love the idea of growing beans from a supermarket mix. Thanks! My husband hated scarlett runners too, but we’ve worked out a good way to get through them – sneak them into salads for lunches. I’ve been cutting off the ends and cutting the beans into segments and lightly boiling them so that they’re still firm (blanching really). Then I use them to pad out a salad of potato/mayo/gherkin/capers, or else a green salad with some whole roast almonds. If they’re precut into bite size pieces they don’t come off as stringy… Good luck with the dried beans. When I’m more organised I’d like to grow white beans for casseroles. They’re great with canned tomato, preserved capiscum and chorizo sausage.

    1. Thanks for your handy tips regarding eating and growing beans. I harvested the first of the kidney beans the other day and they came out great! Next year I think I will try to plant heaps more! Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. Sarah, Happy New Year to you and your family dear lady!! I love your blog, the photos are fantastic. I got your message on my last Yates blog, yes, I finally did it!! All I have done so far with my prize is the replant the native tree project at the front of the property. It certainly looks so much better now and everything is doing well. Hopefully this Winter we won’t get too many dumps of snow. Have kept it simple and only planted pito’s, cabbage trees, flax, red tussock and hoheria. They all grow well on the Milford Track so I figure they will survive here. Next step will be relocating the veg patch and buying a tunnel house to make it all a bit easier. After that I will make a start on the wet land area. The fencer is coming some time this week to start the fencing so we shall have to wait and see how far the $$ goes with that. Probably not as far as I would want it to go tho. Hope all is good with you, your family and the garden. See you in the next challenge.
    Donna Cudby

    1. Hi Donna, great to see you drop in on my blog. How’s your veggie harvest going? Mine has been pretty poor due to too much rain! But something is better than nothing! Good luck with relocating your veggie patch, I hope you get it done with enough time for the next challenge!!! Cheers S : o )

      1. Hi Sarah
        The harvest this summer has been pretty good, I lost some peas and lettuce to a roaming ewe who thought she needed them more than we did!!
        Weather wise we have been the exact opposite to you and had drought conditions most of summer. Not too bad at the moment as we had a good rainfall a couple of days ago. Just starting to plan and plant for the Autumn/Winter harvest. Once that is over and everything has died down I can start the big relocation I have planned. Will hopefully see you in the next challenge. Take care.

    1. Hi there. I can never resist trying to grow something unusual and thought how great would it be to be self sufficent in water, vegetables, eggs and sugar! A large portion of the world gets their sugar from sugar beet so how hard can it be? Well I tried and they are easy enough to grow – a bit like beetroot – the hard part was judging when to harvest – if you leave it too long it gets really bitter. I haven’t managed to get round to growing it again, but now I’m into growing Stevia as a sweetner and it is really cool! Cheers Sarah : o )

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