Thursday, January 28, 2010
Value per Square Inch
Everyone loves to grow tomatoes in the yard or on the balcony, no matter how small a plot you have a tomato bush is voted number one every time. For value for square inch though, its got to be beans! We've been harvesting the varieties Butter Bean (bush bean)and Blue Lake (climber) for weeks now and as they are nearing their end I have Scarlet Runner and Purple King coming on. They are economical as they readily grow from seed and easily from saved seed at that and the yield is so incredibly high. The climbing varieties only require a small patch of soil and all their growth is vertical. The photo above shows some Blue Lake growing on the fence (that clever Craig made from discarded stair railings thrown to the tip/refuse).
They are a great vegetable for children to grow as they are; fast, easy to grow and fun to harvest and they can be eaten raw right in the garden which is how kids prefer their veggies. When the girls were little we had a bean growing competition. We took the pole from a hangglider and planted it with strings attached. Those strings (one for each of us and our Scarlett Runner beans) must have been at least 14ft and it was so exciting. Everyone planted their own bean and tended to them and watered them lovingly/competitively, but no way we did we expcet them to grow that tall! Those Scarlet Runners with their gorgeous lush leaves and striking red flowers climbed all the way to the top! I can't remember if the bees found those blooms all the way up there for pollination but it sure made a wonderful family memory.