How many different types of beans are there? I had no idea there were so many until last winter when I began researching them, looking for the perfect beans to grow. We have always grown yellow wax beans and love them, but hubby is not fond of the standard green beans, so I went on a quest for really good beans. If we are going to devote that much space and time to something, we should really, really like it and not just grow it because, well, you know everyone else does. I mean, what's a garden without beans?
We still grew the standard yellow wax bush beans because we love them, but we also grew other kinds, unusual and different kinds, this year.
One that we like a lot is the "asparagus" bean. It's touted to taste like asparagus and it does! It's delicious! This one is actually called "Gow Dauk Yard Long Asparagus Bean". It's not a yard long but it is long. Each bean is about a foot long, slender and tender and good and it does taste like asparagus! We will definitely grow a lot of them next year! I only have a few plants this year, not even enough for us to eat, just enough to grow seed for a row of them next year. I will probably also buy some seeds next year, if I can find them. I got these in a trade from another gardener.
One of the most promising and interesting beans I planted is "Aunt Mollie's Mushroom Bean". The beans themselves, not the pods, are suppose to taste like mushrooms when cooked in things. Interesting! I only have one plant and it doesn't have beans on it yet, so we may not be able to see if this is true. If we do get a few beans this year, it won't be enough to sell them, unfortunately. Not this year, anyway. If we do get beans and, indeed, they do taste like mushrooms when cooked in things, I might have some seeds for sale next year, maybe. If we like these, I may buy these seeds to plant next year, as well. Again, if I can find them.
Another bean I am growing and we like is an heirloom yellow flat bean from Romania called "Gold of Bacau". It's a fast, tall grower and good producer. I will have these beans for sale in the seed store this year. They did really well. That's them in the picture, growing above the hibiscus beside the deck and covered with beans!
I also grew "French Duet" beans, called "duet" because they are a mix of yellow and green. We liked these a lot! They are slender and tender too and grew very well. I may have these seeds for sale this year, still not sure if there will be enough or not.
I always grow scarlet runner beans, for decoration as well as eating. The young tender green beans are very good. Not sure if we will have these beans for sale this year or not. They sure are beautiful in the flower garden!
We also grew Kentucky Wonder yellow pole beans this year. These are excellent and I might have these seeds for sale this year. I grew these in an attempt to switch from bush beans to pole beans, (much easier on the back!) but they are ready much later so I will still grow both. The yellow bush beans are ready all through late June-July, while the Kentucky Wonder beans come after and are ready in August. Growing both will prolong the bean season.
I planted a few Blue Lake Stringless green beans too but, while the plants are up and growing well, they have not produced any beans yet, nary a one. That one is probably not going anywhere. Must need a longer growing season. Oh well, as previously stated, hubby is not fond of your standard green beans anyway. He LOVES the asparagus beans, however!
The beans that we grow are for eating of the pod. We don't grow beans that are for eating of the seed. Our season is not that long and, frankly, we don't eat them. I have considered growing pinto beans for chili, but we just don't eat enough chili to bother, but I do consider it every spring. It just doesn't go anywhere, maybe next year...
Although I have said here that I will probably have some of these bean seeds, nothing is definite until it is actually in my hands. Such is the life of a gardener.
There are so many different kinds of beans out there that I could not possibly grow them all. I keep looking for the fabulous, the unique and the useful, not just in beans, but in everything we grow! I am thrilled to find the "asparagus" beans this year!