Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For The Love of Vegetables

 Cannellini Lingot - Dry Shelling Beans

These beauties are wonderful for soup. It's going to be a few months before I can harvest these, but when I do, I plan to dry them in my dehydrator and store them in a few big jars. This winter, when the snow raises hell all around us, I will have a hot ham and bean soup, flavored with thyme and oregano. I can already taste it. :)

 "Jade" green bush-type beans will grow in 2-4 foot tall bushes instead of vining around and taking over the garden. The bean pods themselves can grow up to 10 inches long and are virtually stringless. They're also tender and sweet. I plan to transplant them from the greenhouse at the same time I sow my sweet corn into the same bed together. Beans and corn are natual companions, each one providing necessary nutrients to the other that are needed for healthy and vigorous growth. Corn, beans and squash are the traditional "Three Sisters", grown together by Native Americans for hundreds of years.

I can't wait to bite into one of these Pink Accordian heirloom tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes are a very valuable piece of the garden. They are not modified in any way, not hybrids, not altered to suit some commercial farms needs - perfectly natural and the way that Mother Nature intended them to be. The seeds are savable, and can be continued on for years to come. They never look as perfect as the tomatoes in the grocery stores, but beautiful in their own way.
"Country Gentleman" shoepeg corn is also an heirloom variety. It's especially grown in the south, and is considered one of the best roasting varieties available. It's self-pollinating, and not hybridized, and will grow perfect with my green beans. I have plans to dry some for seeds, scrape the kernels off of the cobs for freezing and perhaps an ear or two on the grill with the hamburgers and bratwurst at family BBQ's this summer.

All of these pictures were borrowed from Territorial Seed Company's website, but only because I already purchased the seeds for them and they haven't turned into big beautiful vegetables yet. Do yourself a favor - start a garden. Grow a tomato or two. Put some herbs in a pot and be proud of yourself when you can add them to your cooking. Nothing is more beneficial to the soul than waiting on a seed to come forth.

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