Beans & Peas
For me, green beans are a garden staple, something you must grow if you are a backyard gardener. They are high yielding and just about everyone loves garden-fresh green beans. Peas on the other hand were a new vegetable to me when I first started gardening. I mean, of course I have had a bag of frozen peas from the grocery store, but I had never had a crisp, sweet fresh-from-the-pod pea. They are now a must grow for me, and are given a hefty space within my garden bed. So excited to share the pea and bean varieties I am trying out this year!
In the early spring, as soon as the ground can be worked, I plant my 'Sabre' Shelling Peas. Shelling pea season lasts as long as the weather is cool, and stops once the weather gets too warm, around mid June. I plan on growing peas across a trellis covering the whole back of the bed, and removing them once they stop producing. I enjoy shelling peas over snap peas, as their sweet flavor and crunchy pop within salads is amazing, and they are very hard to find within farmer's markets. Even if you find them at a market, shelling peas quickly lose their flavor after shelling, and are best if homegrown. I also find it super satisfying to shell peas (I know, I am weird).
As soon as I can stick a trowel in the dirt, I will be planting my 'Robin Hood' English Fava Beans seeds. I grew Fava Beans for the first time last year, and absolutely loved their stunning black and white blooms. I planted them a little late, and did not get to enjoy beans, so I am looking forward to reporting back on how I cook with these this season! Fava Bean plants are unique in that they can withstand frost, and produce only in cool weather. They will set beans in early spring, bloom throughout the heat of summer, and set beans again in the fall. I am planting a short row of these along the edge of my garden bed, to add height and color to the edge of the bed.
Bush beans are the perfect high yield vegetable, as they product beans from June-October on plants under two-feet tall.In past seasons, I have planted two rows, four feet long, and had enough beans for my husband and I to enjoy at least once a week throughout the summer. In the past I have only grown Tricolor Bush Beans, but this year I am adding a 'Roma Improved' Italian Bush Beans to add a variety of shapes and flavors to our bean harvests. I love green beans steamed until just tender, and lightly salted. I am looking forward to how the Roma beans change up what other dishes I prepare this coming season.