Recently, Frank and I were talking about this year's green bean crop, how they taste and such. We came to the conclusion that green beans are okay, but not something we really enjoy. If there is another vegetable option, we will normally choose something else besides green beans, or corn either, for that matter. It's an interesting revelation to come to after all of these years.
Green beans are easy to grow and easy to can. Corn, on the other hand, takes up a lot of room and nutrients before it produces much. Most of the open pollinated corn we grow only produces one ear per stalk. We have decided that we won't grow corn or green beans in the garden next year. The corn we will just do without. We may try growing some field corn for the animals and to grind into corn meal, but the sweet corn we will forgo for a time. What we will plant are pinto beans. We have grown them once before and they are just as easy as pole beans. A friend of mine grew pinto beans and initially picked them young and tender, to cook like green beans. We can do that, as well as let them mature and cook as pinto beans. Then, we will also be able to can them as pintos, or let them dry and store them to cook later. So, this is the result of our garden pondering lately.
With all that being said, I still wanted to see what nutrition green beans provide, after all, we all know they are good for you. From one cup of snap green beans, boiled with salt we get the following nutrients.
- calories 44
- carbohydrates 9.8g
- protein 2.4g
- vitamins A, C, K
- Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids
Our mother's were right, they are very good for you. There are many different varieties to choose from, both bush and pole beans. In our location, they don't have many pests. The grasshoppers like to eat the leaves, but it doesn't seem to deter the plants, even when they look rather dismal. Green beans and other legumes are great for fixing nitrogen in the soil and rebuilding an area that grew a heavy feeder, like corn, the previous year.
When we have moved from place to place over the years, corn and green beans are always one of the first things we stock up on. They are the old standards, easy to fix and have a dependable flavor. But after we get set up and have a variety of things to choose from, the corn and green beans kind of go to the back of the shelf. And now, they are going to be left out of the garden. We still have quite a few green beans left that we canned last year, which will eventually get eaten, or not. It's good to learn what works best, and what works best for us, will not necessarily work best with you and yours. It's something we all have to figure out for ourselves. So, happy pondering.
Until next time - Fern