This year 2015 will be our 3rd complete season of learning how to grow a successful garden here in Colorado Springs and so far for the past couple of springs an unexpected has happened. It is fun when a vegetable plant grows all by itself, all on its own, you didn’t plant it or plan on it. A seed from last year’s garden season happened to fall on the ground, sat there through the winter and here come spring gives us a nice surprise and says here I am.
That happened this morning as I was relaxing, watering and meandering through the garden to see how all the early season crop seeds we planted were coming along. As I got to the potato beds and pushed aside some of the straw to see if the potato buds were coming up, low and behold we got green beans instead.
That is the beauty of growing an heirloom crop, the seeds will give you another crop year after year.
Well the first thing that comes to mind is that it is too early for green beans atleast here in the springs. In our garden plans we need to get the green bean seeds in the ground at the end of may. It is true that if we receive an early frost these little sprouts popping probably won’t make it. but you know what? All the more power to them. We are not going to pluck them because they are out of place in the potato bed or a bit early but instead we will cheer them on and and say do it beat the odds of an early frost and make it through.
I know, kind of over done with the sentiments but that is what it is like when you are a farmer or a gardener. You care about your crops, it provides for your families. The unexpected is that it is just plain nice when it does it all on it’s own.
In our 2014 garden, my wife and I decided that we would plant 6 varieties of green beans to see which one’s grew best here in our climate, tasted better and which ones would produced more yield to eat and more yield of seed for our seed bank.
All the plants grew very well but the one I would say gave us less yield over all was the Royal Burgundy.
all the bush beans produced first, while the Kentucky Wonder pole bean came in strong later in the season. I personally did not notice a difference in taste or texture, I guess I just enjoy eating so much that I just wasn’t paying much attention.
Here is a picture of our finished product of canned green beans and garlic from last year, we think they turned quite nice and have been really nice to eat through winter.
Here below are pictures of the six varieties we planted and the seeds they produced at the end of the season.
1 – Cherokee Wax – Bush Bean
2 – Harvester – Bush Bean
3 – Blue Lake 274 – Bush Bean
4 – Kentucky Wonder – Pole Bean
5 – Contender – Bush Bean
6 – Royal Burgundy – Bush Bean
Here are a few pictures of what the actual crop looked like as they grew and the heavy laden bushes full of beans.
Once we harvested all that we were going to harvest for our food storage, we let the rest of the plant mature and dry out so that we could extract the precious seeds for our future gardens. Here is what the seed pods look like dry and and when you break them open out pops the precious seeds within.
Here are the saved green bean seeds for upcoming gardens!