Italian Green Beans

My parents’ vegetable garden (shown above) is looking incredible right now.  The Italian green beans my mom planted in April have completely covered the wire fence that my dad put up for them to grow on.  The weight of the vines is so heavy that it’s causing the wire fence to sag in the middle.  

The vines are just starting to produce a profusion of green beans.  They are almost producing more beans than they can eat, even though they haven’t fertilized them.  Not only are they fun to harvest, but home-grown green beans are some of the best tasting green beans I have ever eaten.  

Green beans are the most tender and delicious if they are picked when the bean pods are small to medium sized.  If you pick green beans when the bean seeds inside are large, they are usually tough and less tasty.

My mom starting growing Italian beans several years ago.  Last year, she planted bean seeds in my yard.  She had gathered the seeds from dried out leftover beans that were still on the vines the previous fall.  Those seeds grew and produced an abundance of beans, which we used for great dinner side dishes for months.  I saved some of the dried up beans from those plants last fall and planted another generation of beans this spring.  They are now full of fruit (see below).  I probably won’t need to buy green bean seeds again, at least until I want to try a different variety.  

August 02 2008 12:43 pm | Beans