Saturday, November 11, 2006

This Year's Bean Crop

Well who'd have thought it! Quite a few of the beans survived the rabbits. And not only that, they survived the latest spring for decades, condensed when it finally arrived into a magnificent three-week explosion of scent and colour; and the longest, hottest, driest summer that brought about green growth at the expense of flowers and pods. Except there were pods, hiding under all that lush greenery.

The photo above is one of my favourite pictures this year. I shall save every one of the blue beans for planting next year and do a taste test in twelve months time.

Left to right in the picture above we have white beans, good for winter soups; the pale green beans, some lightly speckled with red, are a dwarf Borlotti that bore much of the brunt of the early feeding by the rabbits; then a few small ochre beans, these are Canadian Wonder and a great substitute for kidney beans, but smaller and sweeter; then a huge range of pink and purple splashed beans, large and juicy; then large purple/pink beans, again great for autumn and winter soups. To the back of the picture are the glossiest black beans you will ever see; and the stangest blue beans, that darken to an inky midnight blue on drying.