Thursday, June 5, 2008

Corn and Beans

As part of my effort to eat fresh produce as well as preserve food for the rest of the year I'm planting a modest patch of corn and lots of beans. Given my husband's love of fresh corn, I doubt there will be much left over to save.

The beans on the other hand are much more exciting. I'm planting several kinds of bush beans and pole beans for fresh eating, drying and freezing. I love legumes for their versatility. Fresh, dried, canned, frozen - the opportunities are infinite. I dream of bean purée dips, chilled beans with pesto, fresh beans with mint and lemon...

My first introduction to Musica pole beans, a type of Romano bean, was through a coworker who brought in several pounds to work. At 8" long, these beans were perfectly tender and fresh, with an amazing flavor. I casually snacked on the beans for several hours, until just before closing, at which point I began to moan, "I don't feel good. My belly hurts!" Yes - there is such as too much of a good thing!

Like most things I plant, most of these are heirlooms, tried and true favorites for generations. Here's this year's lineup:
Bush Black Turtle (dry soup bean), Blue Lake (fresh or dry), mung (dry and sprouts), edamame (aka soybeans, fresh or frozen), Tendergreen (fresh or dry) and Black Kabouli Garbanzo (fresh, dry, hummus).

Pole Kentucky Wonder (fresh, frozen or dried), Musica (aka Meralda, fresh or frozen), and Painted Lady Runner Bean (fresh, frozen or dried).


Birdsong said...

I love all the bean choices! Simply braising them in butter is good enough for me, but the other dishes sound yummy too. Are you doing the eat local challenge in early August mentioned in the Briarpatch newsletter? Apparently hundreds of co-ops around the country are supporting it!

Luci said...

I'll even eat them raw off the vine... I don't know if we'll do the challenge. They did one last year, and it wasn't too bad. August is a good month too because so much is in season at that point. My husband and I are focusing on a large garden, lots of food preserving and having our own fresh eggs. I'd love to find a dairy CSA and try my hand at making cheese. Also, I'm looking into local oil sources. Olive oil is pretty easy to come by, but we also want sunflower oil for times we don't want to use olive.
I missed getting published in the current BP issue, but will be in the one coming out in August, talking about local food and giving preserving ideas.