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Garden Reports and Rejoicing – September 14

Here’s something that most people don’t know about me…yet: I’m a bean snob. Yes, when it comes to garden grown green beans, I am picky about what I pick. My beans need to be thin and tender, or I don’t want to eat them.

This is fine as long as I’m able to get into the garden every two days to harvest, of course. But unlike chard and beets, which aren’t significantly harmed by remaining in the garden for an extra week or two, beans mature quickly. A green bean can go from being a thin Haricot Vert to something more akin to a robust Romano in a matter of three or four days.

“Don’t give away the large ones,” my husband pleads. “I’ll cook them in a tomato sauce.” It’s a noble effort, and sometimes the larger beans are prepared this way. Provided that they’re not too large or too tough, these are yummy, especially when served with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

One of the blessings of growing your own food is that you can be choosy. You can select the best-flavored tomatoes, the most beautiful summer squash and the thinnest, most tender green beans. The gardener can grow these organically and harvest them at their peak, and our efforts and attention permit us to be particular.

In the garden and in life, this is one of the gifts that come from putting effort in and working toward a goal: you get to be picky about what you pick.

I picked one row of beans tonight and they filled this basket. The figs and tomatoes were an added-on bonus. Two thirds of these beans went into a bag to give to co-workers and friends...they will be fine, fresh and nourishing. Call me a bean snob, but I'm not interested in them.

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