did someone ask for green beans?

Posted on Posted in food and garden


seriously, i only planted a total of about eight feet of green beans; it just seems like acres.

last sunday i went out to the garden pre coffee in order to pick what needed picking before it got hot. uh, no worries there—we are not exactly having “hot” weather this summer. but that doesn’t stop the beans from coming and coming and coming.


in addition to that big basket i picked, i had another three or four pounds in the fridge from the previous few days. the upside of super fresh garden pickings is that they can wait a couple of days to be put up—good for me because i’d rather spend one big whack of time in the kitchen putting up beans than do a little bit each day (not so with tomatoes; for some reason, i don’t mind doing those every day when they are plentiful).


once i had all of them gathered together, i sorted them by size and purpose—very slender young ones for immediate eating, medium sized ones to freeze for future meals, and the bigger overgrown ones to be cut up and frozen for soup niblets (while i don’t like eating those plain, they are perfect for that use).

i know—that seems really fussy, doesn’t it? but i don’t mind; i just put on my audiobook and the time flies. normally on sunday morning i’d be doing my long run, but i have a nagging sore ankle that needs time to rest. so i’m resorting to green bean sorting. like knitting, it’s therapeutic.

fingers crossed that i can still do my half marathon in two weeks (but no worries;  i’m not insane enough to “do it anyway”).


and it’s not all green beans and no fun—while i was outside, i also picked a lovely basket full of vegetables for a thai curry. our thai basil is growing healthy any strong; i’m so glad we were able to get some this year.


it has that spicy bite i love and tastes so great in our fresh curry dishes. i really must make time to freeze some for winter; it is impossible to buy in our area, in or out of season.

i discovered several yummy items that are coming to maturity out there as well


purple scallions—if you haven’t had homegrown scallions, you really should explore the option. they are one thousand percent more yummy than store bought. one square foot of dirt will produce all you need and you can rotate that area so that half are always ready to use. so worth the trouble.


and on a  similar note—onions are just about ready; the tops are beginning to lay down, though they’re not dried out yet. still, i’ve been pulling one or two as needed. in a week or so we’ll pull them all and lay them on the porch to dry. it is SO nice to use onions this fresh.


and probably my favorite find of the week—little carrots! omg our carrots this year are phenomenal—they love the planting mounds that david made and are growing straight and big with all that wiggle room in the soft dirt. in fact, after cooking all morning and doing some work in the afternoon, i went outside to (finally) thin those babies out. they were ridiculously crowded because i seeded them so heavily (which was necessary in other years, but not this year).

i cleaned all of the above so that when i was ready to cook dinner later, it would be all set to chop and go.


again, i only have maybe six or eight feet of carrots planted, but in a triple row across and every darn seed i planted germinated i think. they were long overdue for thinning actually, but i’m kind of glad i waited because—after several hours of crouching in the dirt, tediously yanking and prying them out—we now have a nice haul of baby carrots for cooking and snacking.


i planted a mix of red and orange varieties, but at the moment i can’t remember the names, sorry. suffice it to say that they are growing very well and are tasty, too, nice and sweet.

at sunset, i sat my butt on the back steps and stretched my legs while pinching off all those tops to add to the compost pile. in other years, i’ve ended up with a range of interesting carrot shapes, mostly blunt and stunted.


but this year, they look like they belong in a seed catalog—straight, pointy, and consistent. good enough for the fair, even . . . and they cleaned up so pretty too, totally worth the work. i love this photo, with its accents of green tips.


and if you think that sizing green beans was a singularly odd and obsessive tic that i had going on, you are mistaken. apparently my penchant for organization extends to carrots, too. representative of a deep psychological issue i bet, but we just won’t go there.

rather than beat myself up and make a character flaw out of it, i prefer to think of it as the kind of behavior typically exhibited by designer types. or to put it another way, an excuse to waste time.

once in a while we all need a little of that. by now it was well past dark and we hadn’t yet eaten dinner so i fired up the burners and got that stir fry going. it was deLISH.

the next thing i knew it was monday morning and guess what?


18 thoughts on “did someone ask for green beans?

  1. Mmmmmmm, baby carrots straight from the garden are just so sweet. Enjoy them. You can always make some carrot cake if you get fed up with eating them raw. Your beans have been super-productive this year. I love them lightly cooked and then tossed in vinaigrette dressing and eaten with salad. Like you, I also make soup out of the bigger ones. You just cannot beat the taste of home grown veg can you? I bet you’re thrilled after missing out last year with all your renovation work.

  2. I am so happy that you planted a garden this year because last summer was seriously sad without all of your garden photos! Oh, they’re so lovely. This was the first summer in our house and we did plant a garden, but it has quickly gotten away from us 🙁

    We have been able to stay on top of the cucumbers, bell peppers, and hot peppers (we do like salsa in this house, without cucumbers of course), but I think we planted our tomato plants too close together and they turned into a jungle!!

  3. So fun to see “how your garden grows,” Anne. As always, your photos are wonderful. Really missed them during the remodel!

  4. Wow! The carrot photo should be used for a seed catalogue. We’d all be ripping out our grass and planting carrots! I find your attention to detail admirable (unfortunatly not imitatable haha)–all the things you make will be better because you’ve done this. Sorry your ankle is still bothering you. Take care of yourself.

  5. Awww; I do love the daily garden work at this time of year! Also I love eating what has grown in our yard! Just a thought: would it be possible to dig up and pot one of your Thai basil plants? And/or cut a few sprigs, and root them in a glass of water to pot up?

  6. Oh, I could eat my weight in green beans!! (Believe me when I say that’s a LOT of beans!) What a wonderful variety of goodies you have in your own back yard.

  7. Sorting is a critical (not obsessive) step to enjoyment of the finished product. I also used to plant red scallions in raised beds (along with everything else) Well worth planting – and so cute at the end of the summer for those left to mature. Nothing better than home grown vegies! Enjoy your ability to grow stuff outside!

  8. Mmm, this post was like a bg breath of fresh air after my day at work! Thanks for sharing your garden with us.

  9. My grandmother made the best green beans ever. She would wash and snap a me sd of fresh beans, then cook them in a pressure cooket with a ham hock till the the beans were almost mush, Southern cooking at its best! She usually canned several jars of beans each year. When she died in 1991 there were still several jarsof beans in her pantry, all neatly la led and dated. It was a bittersweet day when Mom opened the last jar of those beans, a piece of my childhood gone.

  10. I am addicted to the dilly bean pickles from our CSA (Penn’s Corner) here in Pittsburgh. If you get too many, you can always try pickling. I’ve done some quick pickles with radishes, and it’s surprisingly easy and fun.

  11. I love your garden posts and photos, Anne!!! We have several plots in the local community garden and it’s such fun. This year we planted one plot with potatoes and we’re “digging” it!!! Our green beans were delicious (we’ll do another planting this week). For the first time, I canned Dilled Green Beans and used the recipe from the Preserving by the Pint cookbook and they are delicious. It’s a great cookbook for small batch canning!!! I’m a freezer, not a canner, but this book has inspired me to try a little canning.

  12. Ever tried making carrot top pesto? One more thing to eat from your garden. There are numerous recipes on line.

  13. What a harvest! Love the colors of the carrots. I think you were working out an idea for a new design. Perhaps a sock inspired by bean poles or carrot tops? Maybe a new color work mitt with those purples and oranges? I love losing myself in that kind of ‘play time’. It always pays off eventually I think, so play on!

  14. Your garden is so inspiring! We moved into our first house three months ago and I already know what I’m planting next year: lots of green beans. They are awesome grilled after a quick toss in green onions, olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. We put a cookie cooling rack on the grill to help keep them from falling through.

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