7/26/2010

Red Noodle Bean



The red seeded Chinese noodle beans are producing like crazy. Every other day our 6 ft row produces 3-4 pounds of beans. That''s today's picking, above. Most beans average about 16 inches long.

I sometimes get a bit aggravated at hearing the same question from visitors to the garden, "But what do you do with them?" I resist raising my voice and saying - They are BEANS, think about it, what do you normally do with BEANS? But I don't. I just explain, they are BEANS, you cook them any way you cook any other green bean. They snap, with no strings, the large ones can be shelled if you choose, you can eat them in any size from 5 inches long (that's one day old) to 16-18 inches (that's a 3 day old bean). Boil, saute, steam, stir-fry or freeze, they are simply BEANS, and my favorite of all the beans I grow. They will keep producing right on to frost if I keep the beans picked. (You can order them from Territorial Seed, as well as Baker Creek Seed and others).

Not only is this an outstanding  bean, the flowers are attractive, as well. They bloom in pairs, which means there are always two beans per stem, which is handy for picking. As the flower wilts by the end of the day, it becomes almost blue instead of lavender.

Another bean I'm growing again this yesr is this one, above, which I've written about a few times before. It's a Seneca Bear Bean, a Native American heirloom bean, traditionally used when cooking bear. Since I don't cook bear, I like them cooked most any other way. They're a shelling bean, ready in the fall after they have dried. (For photos of the beans, go here).

I grow the Seneca beans on an arbor between two raised beds. It makes the beans easy to pick, plus shows off the attractive crimson flowers, which are in bloom  all summer long.

And here, the blossoms of Missouri Wonder pole bean. It grows next to the red seeded long beans, same amount of space, but the long beans outperform the Missouri Wonder beans by 100 to 1. It's an old, reliable heirloom variety, good for shelling beans primarily, but not a heavy producer most years in my garden. The flavor is beefy, hearty and worth the effort of growing it, however. The beans, shown below, are an old favorite from long ago.



The garden today - bright sunlight makes it look dark. Click on the picture to enlarge it. You'll notice sheets and a picnic umbrella to the right - coverings for the tomatoes so they don't sunburn. Stay cool if you can.

3 comments:

Kat said...

Jim, I've grown other purple beans before, but not like these. I was surprised when mine turned green when I boiled them. Do these noodle beans keep their color when cooked?

Kat

lisa said...

Thanks for the post. Your review makes me wonder why I grow anything else!

Great photos, and cultivation too.

Stay cool!

Lisa

farmer bk said...

I just noticed my first red chinese noodle bean today. I'm guessing that the mild summer we've had here in the Pacific NW has put mine quite a bit behind yours. It's good to know that they produce well up until frost. Can't wait to try mine in some stir fry.