With the cool spring/early summer we had here in Seattle I planted my garden rather late. I’m still patiently waiting for the first tomato of the year.
I decided to branch out a bit this year and try to get a little more out of my small gardening space. At each end of my row tomatoes I stacked a set of two large planters to give me a sort of terraced gardening area. In one I planted Tuscan kale, which I’ve completely harvested. I left a small section of stem for each plant, though, and I’m starting to get a second round of growth!
A couple of eggplants (one Italian and one Japanese) are so far just hanging in there. One has had tons of blooms but none of the blooms have fruited yet. Keeping my fingers crossed. The remaining space I filled with bush bean plants. One variety got swamped during an early spring storm we had. The drainage holes in the planter must be blocked or maybe aren’t properly placed. It took the plants a few days to recover after they finally dried out. Not sure if I’ll get anything from those plants or not.
The other bean variety, Maxibel, is exceeding my expectations! Today was my second harvest and there will be at least one more, but I’m guessing I might get another small harvest after that. Not only are the plants performing well, the beans are great. They are long but thin, super tasty and tender. I love these beans. And since this is the first time I’ve grown my own I’m especially happy with the results.
My favorite way to cook green beans is pretty simple. I first brown chopped bacon – about a slice per pound of beans, once the bacon is almost done I add chopped onion – about 1/2 of a medium onion per pound of beans, continue sautéing until the onion is soft and turning golden. While the bacon and onion are cooking, blanche the beans for one minute, timing it so that the blanching is done about the time the onions are turning golden. Add the beans to the pan with the onions and bacon, sauté an additional minute or two and then serve. They are also good at room temperature, which is nice for warmer summer weather.