Friday, August 7, 2009

Go Green! or Yellow, or Purple or Striped!

I'm talking about beans. No need to restrict yourself to only green beans any more! Here are a few of the varieties I've been picking from my garden. I cook them all together. The colors make for a lively side dish.

Left to right - Rattlesnake pole beans, yellow pole beans, Roma II bush beans, Dragon Tongue bush beans, Flat Italian pole beans, Brittle Wax bush beans, and Contender bush beans. The purple color cooks away, leaving a pretty green or yellow bean when served.

These are my Vermont Cranberry bush beans, a new variety for me. The flat pods have pink streaks and can be picked when tender and steamed fresh. I let these dry on the vine to use as soup beans. The first ones I picked were so pretty that I planted a couple more rows late in the season. They'll make a nice Fall treat.

I'm sure Melissa at Gluten Free for Good can tell you all about the nutritional value of beans. I'll settle for knowing they're good for me because I love eating fresh beans every day!

I picked my first ripe tomatoes a couple of weeks ago. They were running late this year. Since then, I've had to pick the cherry tomatoes every day. The yellow cluster tomatoes are called Yellow Perfection - and they live up to their name! I'll save seed for next year. Definitely a keeper! My favorite red tomato is called Red Star. They are small, flat, funny-looking and delicious. I ate them all before this photo was taken. Oops!

Although we made it through all of July without hitting 90 degrees, the okra decided to bear fruit anyway. They thrive in really hot weather. We'll hit the 90s this weekend for the opening of the Indiana State Fair, so I expect a lot more okra.

No post would be complete without a photo of my girls. These Buff Orpingtons decided to test drive their new roost, made from a branch from the honey locust tree. Seems to work just fine. My little chicks are getting so big! I expect the new flock of 24 to start laying any day now.

Construction is underway on 2 new chicken coops and runs. That's why I've been away from my blog for so long. I've been gathering materials, digging out stumps and clearing brush. Today I dug my first five (okay, 4 and a half) post holes. When it got too dark to work, I could barely lift a New Grist beer to my lips. I struggled through a whole one, though. Hope I can raise my arms tomorrow. Ten more post holes to dig.

My totally neglected flower gardens have done just fine while I've been busy with chickens and vegetables. Here's a pretty black-eyed Susan, one of MANY. They've spread like crazy.