Monday, March 21, 2011

Harvest Monday - 21 March 2011

No harvests were had this week. I did however eat a lot from the stores. From applesauce to relish to frozen chard. However the theme this week was, with out a doubt, beans.

Above are the tiger eye beans that Dan sent me last year. It was the first time tasting them. And sadly the last as I finished them up. They lost their beauty with cooking. They reminded me most of kidney beans in a way, but they were much softer. The skin wasn't very noticeable and inside had a very creamy texture. Much creamier than any other bean I've had. Too bad this one isn't a pole bean. I made a very yummy ham soup out of all of it.

Tomato sauce, tomato juice, and beans for the chili

The next bean treat was chili. This time I planned ahead and used my own beans. The black beans are Trail of Tears. I got these seeds a couple of years ago from the Ottawa Gardener. I've been growing them and handing out seeds to my blogging friends ever since. They are so prolific. The others are an early kidney from Fedco.

While I made the chili my stove tried to kill me again. I thought we had come to an understanding. I hadn't burnt myself on it in months. I'd learned the way of the gas stove over time. I guess since it couldn't burn me anymore, it would try to blow me up. Or suffocate me. Hard to tell what it was going for. But I was making the aforementioned chili above. The bean boiled over. I turned the stove down so it was just simmering and went about my business. A while later I smelled gas. I checked the stove and the burner was off. Or rather the flame was off but the burner was still turned on. Well luckily it was a nice day out or at least 45F which wasn't freezing. I turned off the stove. Turned off the furnace. Threw open all the windows. Once the gas had dissipated, which I might point out had gotten all the way to the attic room, I gave my stove a good talking to and turned it on again and finished my chili. Now I've learned one more thing about the stove. If it boils over, check the flame. I've boiled over so many things in the last 9 months and this had never happened, but now I know it can.

I hope your Harvest Monday is less exciting than mine. And happy spring to all of you in the north.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.


  1. Happy spring to you too!
    Yes gas stoves can be a bit temperamental, the flame on mine sometimes goes out if I turn it down to low too fast, I have to turn it down slowly...

  2. Those tiger eye beans are just beautiful! Sounds like you had a beanie week! Your garden looks good!

  3. My first harvest for 2011!

    I have a gas stovetop but if it goes off the ticking of the lighter starts right up to relight it. When I have it set really low on simmer just walking by it will put out the falme but it relights itself every time so far.

  4. The flame on our gas stove blows out if the kitchen window is open. But I love cooking with gas, and I'm so used to gas I can't imagine using anything else.

    Must be bean week. I cooked a big pot of black beans yesterday, though not from our garden.

  5. Yikes! Glad you kept your cool and got the gas dissappated successfully.

    The tigers eye beans sounds like they are a really delicious variety but I am also looking more for pole varieties for my dried beans. Is the trail of tears a climber?

  6. Oh how I miss cooking on a gas stove. We've been meaning to run a gas line to our kitchen but sadly, it hasn't happened yet. I just think you have more control with a gas stove and some types of cooking (like wok cooking) are done better with gas.

  7. I'd love a gas stove, but they can be tricky! The beans look great! I'm going to grow a couple of types this year...looking for Anasazi beans, but no luck yet....

  8. WooHoo it's OFFICIALLY spring!

    Nice Beans, babe! ;-)

  9. That had to have been a scary experience! I'm surprised a modern gas stove doesn't have better safety features.

    It's too bad those tiger eye beans aren't pole beans. I prefer to grow pole beans also, they seem to be more productive for the space it takes to grow them.

  10. I love cooking and canning with my gas stove- can't imagine using anything else. I would love to try some tiger eye. They are lovely.

  11. I have a love-hate relationship with my AZ gas stove, especially since I caught myself on fire! I prefer the safety level of my electric stove.

  12. Annanas, what a pretty and unusual name. It bring up images of pineapples, but then what gardener wouldn't think that.

    Robin, the beans were fabulous. If only they were pole beans and produced more. Ah well can't have everything. They might make a comeback if I decided I don't need as much room for corn or squash.

    Marcia, Whoot a first harvest is wonderful. I wish mine did that.

    Villager, I'm still missing my Jenn air stove that can grill. I guess I just can't have everything. I'll get used to gas soon enough and then like it. Or so I'm hoping. Not waiting is nice though.

    Laura, Yes the trail of tears is a climber and a prolific one. If you need some email me and I'll mail you some to try out.

    Thomas, you do have more control with gas. I do confess that. But I liked how the contact with the burner meant that only the bottom of the pot got hot. With gas the heat really travels up the sides more.

    Deb, if you can't find it from a seed store, just look for anyone that sells beans to eat. I've had really great luck with beans from the store. They almost all sprout for me when I turn them into sprouts so they ought to grow just fine.

    Barbie, thanks

    michelle, You would think one installed this year would. I wish it did. It was scary.

    Little Homestead in the Village, They are lovely and tasty. Sadly since I wasn't going to keep growing them out I can't send some to you. I saved exactly 25 beans for me if I changed my mind in future years and wanted to grow them. Sometimes I have extra beans to give away.

  13. Granny, electric does seem a lot safer in oh so many ways.

  14. Thsoe tiger eye beans sound really wonderful in texture. I guess they'd take a up a lot of room to grow in quantity as they're not a pole type.

  15. I curse my electric stove when I am trying to stir-fry as it doesn't keep a consistent hot temperature. I have never cooked with a gas stove. From what others say, it is not uncommon for them to have their quirks to get used to. I hope you are able to adjust quickly to yours and stay safe.

    The tire eye beans are so pretty.

  16. Thanks, Daphne...good idea...I found the Anasazi beans at Bob's Red Mill. They are a pole bean, supposed to be sweeter and quicker cooking than pintos...I orders a couple of pounds, so let me know if you'd like to try them and I'll send you some...

    deb at almostparadisedesigns dot com

  17. Ottawa Gardener, yes they do and they aren't particularly prolific for a bush bean either.

    GrafixMuse, I've mostly adjusted. Basically learning that the handles can get hot (use a pot holder). They never did on my old electric.

    Deb, I always thought Anasazi beans were bush beans. You will have to tell us what you got. Pole or bush.

  18. Sorry about the double link. I forgot to update my link.

    On your recommendation I ordered Trail of Tears beans last week. I can't wait for them to arrive. I also ordered Scarlet Runner, Painted Lady, and Christmas beans. These are all new to me and all pole beans. How many seeds of Trail of Tears do you usually plant and what spacing do you use? I have a 1x4 area trellised and I am not sure how to plant the area.

  19. Looks like you really enjoyed your dried beans. I need to think about how to use more of mine. My harvest this week was a few carrots from the cold frame. Unfortunately today brought a couple more inches of snow!

  20. I had a great crop of Yin Yang beans this season. They look almost too good to eat...but not quite. Hope your growing season is as good as ours was in the southern hemisphere this spring/summer.

  21. I'm glad you're still around to share your adventures with us! That's getting too exciting!

  22. I have never dried any beans before. You have inspire me to do so. It will be one of my new to do list maybe this year or next.

  23. debiclegg, its ok. You are actually the second person to do this. I can fix it though. Too bad you didn't ask me for some. I still have some from my 2009 harvest. I plant all my pole beans six inches in two rows also six inches apart. So I use a one foot space along the back of the bed too. I usually put two seeds in each hole and thin out the weaker one. Sometimes I have to reseed if they both don't come up.

    Emily, we got snow yesterday too, but no inches. It seemed to snow heavily, but nothing stuck to the ground.

    Tracy, I hope mine works out too. Last year was record heat. The year before record cold. I'm hoping for a middle of the road year for a change. Though the heat did give me a lot of tomatoes (as we tend toward cooler summers, our hot summers still are cool enough to set fruit on tomatoes).

    Veggie Pak, I so can't wait to plant outside.

    Malay, I do warn you, the yield per square foot is much lower than a lot of crops. But I so love my dried beans. They are one of the easy keepers for our long winters.

  24. Daphne, I didn't think to ask if anyone had seeds to exchange. In fact, exchanging seeds is a new adventure for me. I was sick and missed the time earlier when most of you were exchanging seeds. I will remember to ask next time before ordering.

    If I plant an area 1x4 using the spacing you suggest of 2 rows 6 inches apart (about 16 plants), do you think I will get a decent yield from the beans? Or should I try and plant more?

  25. Better not call your chili something like Inferno chili. Not many gardeners raise dry beans - it's really impressive. I've given up on pole beans. The flavor is great and the potential for sustained yield is enticing. Around here the Japanese beetles appetite for beans correlates to the height of the bean plant. Above 4 feet and they attack in hordes. At 5 feet high they strip the leaves off.

  26. Those tiger eye beans look so nice. I have yet to try them, you make them sound so good. I did get much of a harvest from them last year, one of the lowest producing beans for me.

  27. ps, I've had the same thing happen with our gas stove. Had one pretty big flame ball too. I don't think they put out enough gas to blow up the house though. It would have to run for hours and hours without a flame to cause an explosion.