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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Presenting Purple Beans?

This year we planted green beans like we do every year, same seed, same variety, same spot. (OK we didn't plant any last year but it was a difficult year).  We have the perfect growing spot for green beans and even though we are not supposed to have "visible from the street"  food plants in our yard I don't think any of the neighbors know or care.

We have one of those wooden fences enclosing our back yard that are called Shadowbox Fences. They are designed to be esthetically pleasing to both the interior view and exterior.  I guess you would call it a neighbor friendly fence. Though it is for privacy, we have a pool in our back yard and have it mainly as a safety feature to keep any small curious children from wandering into it without an adult. (Our brilliant fence installer put the locks at adult height so no little fingers can reach them). We live on a corner lot and our yard has a ton of "street visibility", so we plant our green beans on the outside (street side) of the side fence. (The inside of the same fence has okra, which would be highly visible from the street)  To our neighbors it just looks like we have a cool vine with small flowers climbing the fence, directly behind the knock out roses. To us it looks like a steady supply of fresh green beans throughout the summer.  Well usually!  This is what our current crop of green beans looks like!



As you can see our green beans are purple.  I did a little research and it seems if the soil is particularly acidic sometimes the green beans will turn purple. I know we have an acidic clay soil. It is one of the reasons our azaleas are such prolific  and beautiful bloomers, but this has never happened before.  

After about 2 minutes in hot water or steam they are nice and green again, but it was a little disconcerting the first time we picked them and cooked them.  The taste?  Exactly like any green bean you have ever eaten. 

So hopefully we will continue to eat purple beans through the middle of September before we have to pull up the vines. I do think for next year we probably need to change planting locations plus we need to do some heavy soil amendments to that area.  Hope you are all having luck with whatever you planted and your food is the right color!

p.s. Next year there will be no strawberries planted here, unless I do them in  hanging baskets.  They bloom, they grow and they feed the chipmunks.  I have not gotten one of them because they are eaten before they are ripe.  All I have  is well fed chipmunks!

10 comments:

  1. I am grateful that no-one dictates what I can plant here. Love your purple beans and would probably scoff a lot of them raw. Our strawberries are in hanging baskets too, and it works well.

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    1. There are both disadvantages and advantages to living here, I just navigate the codes and skirt around them as much as I can.

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  2. There are varieties of beans that ARE purple on purpose. I grew them one year.

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    1. Yes I have seen the purple ones before. These were seeds from 2 years ago that grew regular old green beans.

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  3. At first glance I thought they were purple hull peas. That would have been startling. Yes, I would move them on the other side of the roses...lol. Losing all of anything to critters would cause me grief.

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    1. When we picked the first ones I was terribly confused but I bit one and it tasted like a regular green bean. I think I need to grow them inside the fence next year.

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  4. I had no idea that beans could change color depending on the acidity of the soil! It would be even weirder to see them go into the steamer purple but come out green, lol. I'm glad you warned us.

    I didn't have much luck with my beans this year. I planted what I thought were pole beans but ended up being bush beans and they barely grew at all, which was puzzling since my pole beans have been pretty prolific in the past. So I shall try again this winter since it's our best growing season here in Central Florida.

    I'm also very happy not to have any kind of restrictions on where I can plant what. Goodness, who cares if you grow beans in plain view?! There is a small neighborhood in Orlando called College Park where people who were growing food in their front yard were told by Code Enforcement to stop so they took Code Enforcement to court and they won. That was a few years ago, at the height of the economic crisis. I guess the judge didn't want to be the one to tell people who were struggling financially that they were forbidden from growing their own food (their front yard was the only part of the property that got enough sun).

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    1. Nathalie, neither did I!
      We are a little father north than you so we could gat 2 bean harvests (maybe) but never in the winter. I would have to be so much more organized in the yard than I ever hope to be to get 2 of them though!

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  5. I have seen purple varieties of beans, but not just because of the soil acidity. They are very pretty.

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    1. They are pretty, but it was a little shocking when we first harvested them.

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