Easy Pickings

Isn’t it annoying when beans are missed during picking? When they’re eventually spotted it’s too late – large, tough over-grown pods that just don’t taste very nice at all, a bit ‘chewy’ is how my children would describe them. Last season quite a few of my dwarf beans went to waste due to not seeing them easily, the plants are usually short for this type of bean adding to the difficulty of harvesting. With this in mind I wanted to grow a coloured variety to make picking easier. I chose a  variety called Purple Queen, as the name suggests the beans are a beautiful dark purple colour which makes spotting them amongst the green foliage a doddle.

Sadly, the beans lose their lovely purple colour during cooking (back to boring green) but they do taste utterly gorgeous. I might do the same for courgette next season and grow a yellow variety, we all know how fast courgettes grow so I think a coloured variety to make them easier to spot would be very useful. I always miss the odd courgette here and there which then of course turn quickly into marrows. Mind you, the chickens never complain – they love a watery marrow to peck at!

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7 comments

  1. Yellow courgettes do show up much better, and Soleil, the one I grow, has a deliciously nutty taste when picked young and eaten raw. The only downsides are that they mature more slowly that Midnight, the green one I am growing, and seem to suffer more from blossom end rot and powdery mildew.

    I know exactly what you mean about dwarf beans. I grow ‘Cosse Violette’, another purple French climber, which also goes green on cooking. It is prolific once it gets going, and so beautiful.

  2. I agree with Janet on the Soleil Yellow courgettes, we grow half these and half green. They also seem to be a very good early sowing variety.

    Also worth trying the climbing variety Tromboncino if you’ve got room. They’ve got more texture and a slightly acidic nuttiness. Long and tromboney in shape.

  3. Lovely beans. I grew them last year too. I agree with you though, I always seem to be too late picking the beans, and by that time they are too big. For that reason, next year am growing only Borlottis, and runners. The former especially are not just delicious, but don’t seem to mind being picked ‘late’.

  4. I’m also growing Borlotti this year, first time for me. I’ve been tempted to pick them young, pod and all but I have resisted. They’re pretty big now, beautiful colour too.

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