Husband and I returned home from Minneapolis last Sunday to find that it was time to harvest our pole beans. We had covered the four bean towers with a tarp before we left, and hoped we could forestall the effects of a killing freeze until we returned. The very hot weather we had in July pushed the entire garden behind schedule, and the beans needed as much time as they could get to mature. We grew Good Mother Stallard and Petaluma Gold beans.
We first encountered shell beans when we lived in southern Indiana. Shell beans are like dried beans (think cannellini and pinto beans) before you dry them. They are fat and sweet and buttery. The pods are long and bulging. Our favorite is Vermont Speckled Cranberry Beans, but there seemed to be a shortage of seed last Spring, so we grew the two other varieties. Good Mother Stallard is the quintessential New England heirloom bean. Petaluma Gold was a good variety that we grew several years ago. People sometimes let them dry on the vine and store them in bags, but we like to harvest them before they dry and store them in the freezer. They are terrific in soups and stews. They are also so pretty before you cook them. The header photo is some of the Good Mother Stallard we harvested.
It got so cold here while we were gone that the bean vines died despite the huge tarp we covered them with. The pods did not freeze, however, so we spent Monday night shelling the beans and blanching and freezing them. My thumbs hurt from shelling them.
I realize that our obsession with pole beans is sort of odd, but they are such good beans. Husband gets gout from beans, but he insists we have them in the garden every year.
What are you obsessed with? Who have you known who had obsessions?