Blackberry Farm

Friends of the Farm

Bean Notes From the Cades Cove Garden

Besides their outstanding flavor, beans of the heritage variety from our area of East Tennessee offer a number of advantages over beans of the modern variety. Most of the older varieties of beans remain tender through the juvenile stage and into the earlier stages of full maturity, where modern varieties quickly become tough as the pods mature and beans begin to form.

As a personal preference, I prefer mature beans with the full flavor of the green bean and shell bean, reason being that these varieties will bust out of the hull when they are being cooked. When discussing this subject, I am often reminded of my friend’s grandmother who would send us to her garden to pick beans for meals. Granny said, “Don’t you boys bring me slabs back, I want beans with tubes in ‘em.” Translation: “Don’t pick immature beans, I want mature pods with shell beans in them.”

John Coykendall, Master Gardener