Saturday, October 8, 2011

Store Garden Produce #6-Storing & Freezing Green Beans Types

As the cooler months take hold, you might have an abundance of green beans left over from your summer crops. Did you know that "Green Beans" actually derived its name from the young pods of the bean plants that are picked before the pods ripen or dry? Only then are they tender enough to be called "Green Beans" meaning "green" for the unripe fruit of the bean; many in fact are not green in color at all. The pod colors of "green beans" can be green, golden, purple, red, or streaked. Many people associate "green beans" to the recipes for green bean casserole or 3 beans salads. But Green Beans have many more attributes€ This article is not inclusive and should be shared with Parts 1-10 of this series. Part 7 of this series will provide tips and techniques on Storing Cherries & Freezing Apples as well as preserving other orchard fruits. (See Link Below)

List of Legumes: There are over 7 million tons of green beans produced annually worldwide. Green beans are actually considered a legume which describes a pod, such as that of a pea or bean, that splits into two; with the seeds considered a fruit and the pod considered a vegetable. Shapes can range from the thin "filet" beans to the wide "romano" types with the more common types in between. Green, Runner, French, Broad, Yellow Wax, Sting, and Snap Green Beans€whichever you prefer-- Green bean types have been bred especially for the bright color, crisp texture, and juicy vegetable flavor of their pods. They all describe one thing in common€all are harvested and preserved in the same fashion. Click the link below for a chart on the different types of green beans.

Green Beans Types: There are basically three commonly known types of green beans: string or runner beans, string less or french beans, and snap beans. Snap green beans are the ones usually grown when green bean gardening at home. They are named for the sound they make at the perfect ripening stage. They have a thin flat pod that requires less cooking time. Sting less or french beans are generally named due to whether the pod has a tough, fibrous "string" running along its length. And string or runner beans have long, flat pods that have a coarse textured skin. More mature beans display a pronounced fibrous string running down both sides. All green beans used to be called string beans because older varieties had fibrous side strings. Just before use, remove the strings and trim the ends. Generally purple beans and yellow wax beans are identical in taste and texture compared to true colored green beans.

Pole Beans Vs Bush Beans: To make matters even more confusing, when green bean gardening, beans are then split into two sub-categories: bush beans and pole or running beans. Bush beans are short plants, growing to approximately two feet in height, without requiring supports. They generally reach maturity and produce all of their fruit in a relatively short period of time, then stop production. Growing pole beans or runners requires a bean trellis in which to climb as they grow. There really is no difference between pole beans and bush beans, other than how they are grown. One may fit into your garden architecture better than the other or you may prefer the look of one to another. Some of the most popular bush beans are Blue Lake 274, Kentucky Wonder, Festiva and Burpee's Tenderpod. Some popular pole beans are Kentucky Blue, Kentucky Wonder and Blue Lake. Check out the link at the bottom for a better distinction amongst the different green beans types.

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