A Tramp in the (Organic) Garden

Seeds, Smack Talk and Assorted Gardening Madness in South Pasadena, Los Angeles

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Crazy wonderful-ish Beans


Oh, beans. You haven't let me down this summer with your showy display of pods. This is the first year I've officially grown beans- I planted three tepees worth in the beds where I grew tomatoes last year to add nitrogen to the soil and rotate out the beds a little. It was a such a big adventure at the beginning. I was so innocent then...

CHEROKEE TRAIL OF TEARS (at left) and CHINESE RED NOODLE BEAN- the CHEROKEE'S coming to me as a gift, the CHINESE RED NOODLE BEAN from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, just because they sounded so fascinating and looked gorgeous and growing anything that's 2 feet long sounds exciting. How thrilled I was when the first little lavender blossoms appeared on the CHEROKEES. A sweet little vine scrambling all over my CECILE BRUNNER ROSE (that needs to be relocated to a place where it can climb freely, not all over the vegetable beds where real estate is high). When the pods were tiny, I picked them eagerly, bit into one, anticipating the salade ni├žoise I could make or some exquisite Thai dish. They tasted like paint. They were awful.... I always knew that there were many types of beans- pole beans, snap beans, wax beans, wax pole beans, bush beans, horticultural/shell beans, dry beans, broad beans, butter beans, runner beans, tepary beans. Many types of beans for many types of people. You want a bean? There is a Phaseolus out there just right for you. I just never bothered to investigate all of them, but with a little more light sleuthing, I found out that CHEROKEE TRAIL OF TEARS are snap pole beans, and can be eaten as young beans or shelled when dry to use in soups and such. They still tasted like paint to me...



The CHINESE RED NOODLE BEANS (above) however are pretty outstanding and I would surely grow them again next year. Long little twin flowers that yield little twin strands of these burgundy, whiplike beans that you could turn put in a nice Thai curry. I'm pretty damn mesmerized by the little display they put on. Pretty dramatic and good for your next dominatrix themed garden. Tonight, we just steamed them and put them in a salad and they were great. And they turned purplish black when cooked! MMMMMMM...delicious Goth salad...

PS-By the way, the CHEROKEE TRAIL OF TEARS BEAN was the one that sustained the Cherokee Indians as they were forcibly relocated west. The Indian Relocation Act was passed in 1830, the same year the US government found gold on Cherokee lands....I pour out compost for my Native american peeps who perished during this time.

6 Comments:

At 01 September, 2006 06:52, Blogger steven said...

Some beans can taste pretty weird, I've encountered the paint taste before.

 
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At 26 April, 2007 11:16, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm doing a little research on the Cherokee Trail of Tears Bean and found your site.
My great aunt has been growing them for 70 years now. I think they have a wonderful taste. It surprised me that you compared them to paint. But then it hit me, they will cross pollinate. You can get a funky mix of tastes if you plant them with other beans.
Maybe that's the problem?!

 
At 27 April, 2007 21:22, Blogger Loretta said...

How do they taste when they are cooked, do you know? I have about a cup and a half of dried beans that I haven't harvested yet. My husband says I wouldn't make it as a frontierswoman. : (

 
At 27 April, 2007 21:23, Blogger Loretta said...

Oops, I mean that I haven't cooked yet, not harvested.

 

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