We harvested 150lbs of beans from our first planting, which is probably more than we’ll be able to use between now and next year’s harvest. But we wanted to see how a second planting would do, so we planted 36 feet of white half runners, plus nine feet of Jacob’s cattle beans and nine feet of asparagus beans. They’re all bearing now.
The leaves on the white half runners were much more bug-eaten than with the first planting. Since this was a sort of experiment, we didn’t bother with the bugs so we could see whether they would also mess with the beans. It turns out that the beans are more often bug-bit than with the first planting, where nearly all the beans were perfect, but they are still pretty clean.
The runners on the Jacob’s cattle beans were apparently a delicacy to some critter; one day we came out to find that they had all been eaten clean. The leaves on the bushy part of the bean are very much bug-eaten, much more than the white half runners. There are beans on the plant, though not too many. We’ll pick what we get and then dry and shell them.
The asparagus beans are doing spectacularly well. I’m not a very adventurous gardener yet—I leave it to others to decide what variety to plant. But when I saw the description of these on the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange website, I couldn’t pass them up. After all, three foot long beans! What surprised us, though, is that these plants have been totally ignored by both bugs and critters; the leaves are beautiful, and so are the beans. As to taste, I liked them a lot; they have more of a dried bean taste than a fresh green bean taste, starchy and meaty. They are said to be common in Asian cooking.
The asparagus beans don’t need to be strung and snapped, but the white half runners do, and so that is how we spent our evening.