Food

Easy Green Bean Recipe & A Plant's Mission

As regular readers of this blog know, Wednesday at Coffee for Roses is for foodies…we spend the middle of the week in the heart of the home. Today, however, before we go into the kitchen I feel compelled to briefly talk what plants are all about. You see, every plant has a goal and keeping this in mind will help you to maximize your gardening whether you’re growing vegetables, flowers, or general landscaping.

Every plant has the same mission on this planet. Their purpose is always to push their genetics into the future. This means that their aim is either to produce seeds or to create such a strong and spreading root system that they or their progeny will continue to grow in the years to come. Knowing this helps the gardener…let’s take green beans as an example.

The bean plant produces beans not because it wants us to eat them, but because those beans contain the seeds that, if allowed to reach maturity, will grow bean plants into the future. If we gardeners regularly pick those beans, however, the plant’s response is to make more. So veggie gardeners who want a good crop of green beans learn that they need to be in the garden every other day, harvesting their beans. If you miss a week not only will the beans be larger, tougher, and a bit less delicious, but the plants will also stop flowering. Think about it: if those plants have already made enough seeds (which are inside the beans we eat) to push their genetics forward, they will stop flowering and forming more beans.

So one of the challenges for gardeners is to keep picking the young beans (or squash, lettuce and broccoli) so we encourage the plants to continue to produce. When you pick green beans every other day you will stimulate the production of more beans well into the fall.

I don’t know about you but although I love green beans that are fresh or pickled, I don’t love canned or frozen beans as much. What is the gardener who is picking fresh beans every other day to do with the abundance of produce? Roast them into Green Bean Fries!

Ingredients
Green Beans
Olive Oil
Salt or Chili Powder or Curry Powder

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

I grow Maxibel haricot vert bush beans every year because I love their tender, slender, delicious beans. If I pick those beans every other day these plants continue to flower and produce beans well into September. If I stop picking for a week or more, however, the beans stop flowering and making beans since they have completed their job of making bean seeds.

I grow Maxibel haricot vert bush beans every year because I love their tender, slender, delicious beans. If I pick those beans every other day these plants continue to flower and produce beans well into September. If I stop picking for a week or more, however, the beans stop flowering and making beans since they have completed their job of making bean seeds. So if you keep picking, the plants will keep flowering and producing beans.

Place your bean harvest in a bowl. Toss with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Use your hands to turn over the beans in the oil to coat all before turning them onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.

Place your bean harvest in a bowl. Toss with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Use your hands to turn over the beans in the oil to coat all before turning them onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.

Spread the oiled green beans in an even layer on parchment paper. Place this in a hot oven. Check after about 10 or 15 minutes and if the beans have begun to brown on the ends turn them with a spatula. Continue to roast until the beans have all started to wilt and brown.

Spread the oiled green beans in an even layer on parchment paper. Place this in a hot oven. Check after about 10 or 15 minutes and if the beans have begun to brown on the ends turn them with a spatula. Continue to roast until the beans have all started to wilt and brown.

Turn the wilted, browned beans onto a plate. Sprinkle with salt to taste or, for those on a salt-free diet use curry or chili powder to taste.

Turn the wilted, browned beans onto a plate. Sprinkle with salt to taste or, for those on a salt-free diet use curry or chili powder to taste. If you love French fried potatoes you’ll also love these beans. You could even serve them with ketchup for dipping. Or sprinkle with lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, or freshly ground pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gardens

Deadheading Summer Phlox

To deadhead phlox you clip just below the declining flower or seed heads.

Deadheading summer phlox (Phlox paniculata) is a good example of how even within the same species plants can behave very differently, and our treatment of them might need to vary as well. In mid-August the plants that came into flower in July are beginning to either slow down or go by, so clipping the old

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Love This!

I Love Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Prairie Sunset’

The dark stems and strong green foliage are as attractive as the yeloow flowers that have a blush of orange around their centers.

Name:  Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Prairie Sunset’

Type of Plant:   Herbaceous perennial (meaning the foliage dies to the ground in the winter and comes back from the roots in the spring) that grows best in full sun.

Why I love this: This perennial is tall without being too imposing, and because the stems are fine and airy

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Love This!

Tin Can Bouquets

Restaurants often have large cans that they are willing to give away.

There is something about the way garden-grown flowers and tin cans go together…in August, when your annuals and perennials are most abundant, make some bouquets and place them in tin cans. Use them to decorate your kitchen, porch and patio. Leave them by the neighbor’s front door, ring the bell and run. Take them to

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Food

Barbecued Chard

Serve with other grilled (summer squash, here) or steamed veggies.

Love to grill? Want a barbecued dish that both omnivores and vegetarians will love? Look no further than chard. This is a delicious and quick-to-prepare chard and cheese dish. You will need a grilling tray so you can easily prepare and transport this chard to the barbeque grill.

You need large chard leaves, the

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Gardens

How Plants Get Strangled

This tree was supported by this cable years ago and at the time it was put in place the owner made it very loose. But then they forgot about it. Eventually the wire got cut, but it was still circling the tree. Just as the tree was getting large and lovely, it died. Murdered.

Some plants don’t die of natural causes. Sometimes they are murdered. Strangled, in fact, often by the people who planted them and care for them in the first place. Most gardeners don’t intend to strangle their plants, of course. In fact, it often happens as a result of trying to help the plant.

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