I have always been a bean purist … were talking green bean here. When I grow beans I grow Kentucky Wonder and always the original pole variety. Sometimes I will grow blue lake but once again, the pole variety. I love the rich, mealy, beany flavor of Kentucky Wonders and we have always enjoyed a traditional dinner of mature KW beans with new potatoes and a ham butt all simmered together (add a wee bit of onion and some herbs too). As for the Blue Lake, who cannot like their snap bean quality … and great productivity, especially their first flush.
So last year I was somewhere (maybe Whole Foods) that had an end of the year sale on Botanical Interest seeds and I bought a packet of Tavera beans. These are the French filet type and a bush bean. I was skeptical but I was intending to put them in very early under a hoop of plastic sheeting and see what I could get that might be ready before my direct seeded pole beans. What I got was amazing. I got about a half bushel of beans from about 10 feet of row (actually, since I do raised beds there were three rows, one foot apart and each row was about 3 feet and change long). Not only were they prolific, they were also delicious and they held well … they gave me about three weeks of beans. They are very small … each bean is about 3-4″ long and about half of the diameter of a pencil. They have a crisp snap bean flavor, more like a blue lake than the mealy beans. We had them just steamed with home made mayo and also lightly steamed and marinated in vinegar and oil with onions and herbs. They were, in their own way, as good as the standards I am used to. I just put in a planting for late summer and I’ll do them again next spring.
Tags: green beans