Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Toss of the Coin -

I couldn't decide - the beans & blueberries or the "Around the Corner Picnic" - and the Beans & the Blueberries won out - so, you'll have to wait for another day to hear about the Picnic.

These are blueberries from the bushes that we bought from my sister. She & her husband have been raising blueberries & blueberry bushes on their farm in Mossyrock, WA for 40 years or so. She works harder than anyone I know.

These are (affectionately called) "Lila Beans". They are a common pole bean, heirloom variety, except for the fact that the "original" seeds came from the crop of a duck shot up in the wilds of Canada, by someone in the family of our friend Lila (who passed away a couple of years ago at a ripe old age). Lila's mother, being a frugal woman, found the beans when she was cleaning the duck for dinner, decided to keep them for the next year's planting. That was probably close to 60 years ago, I imagine. The family saved some beans from each year's crop to plant the next year. Lila would can them and always brought a big pot of beans (with just a little bit of bacon to flavor them) to the church potlucks. A couple of years ago before she died, Lila donated a few jars of bean seeds to our fundraiser auction. I bought a "bottle" of these magic beans - I think I paid $8 or $10 for a 1/2 pint jar, and since Lila passed away, John has become the "Keeper of the Lila beans". Alas, I do not can, and they are not very good freezer beans - but they sure are good fresh.

For the last few years we have had a crop of Scarlet Runner Beans on the back side of the house - their lush foliage keeps the house cool in the afternoon and the bright red flowers are very striking. (They are very good to eat too) This year, John decided to switch to purple pole beans - aren't they pretty? They are also very tasty. We had some of these for dinner tonight. (They turn a dark olive green when they are cooked)

Later this week, I'll have a few words to say about the dynamics of friendship .


Kathy L. said...

What great "Gems from the Garden"! I so wish we were in an area agreeable to growing such things. We must settle for cold weather crops of potatoes, carrots, onions, etc. Our last frost is usually around June 15th and the first one is about Sept. 15th - not a great deal of time to grow a garden.
But you've inspired me to try beans next year! Yum!

Kathy L. said...

Except where can I get a duck like that? ;)

Daisy said...

The beans look awesome. I couldn't find bean seeds in the stores this year -- I planted too late. Maybe I should keep a few of my own to avoid that problem next year. Thanks for the inspiration!