Thursday, August 14, 2008

Christmas Lima Beans

I was out of town for a week and when I came back home, my backyard garden looked colorful. Tomatoes have been ripening adding warm yellow, orange and red colors to the garden. Some of them didn't wait for me and just fell to the ground. Two of my squash plants died while I was away. I meant to catch all the squash bugs and clear out the eggs from those plants, but I just didn't have time to get to it. Things are a little out of control these days.

I have been catching and killing lots and lots of harlequin bugs and their eggs. They love my kale plants. Striped cucumber beetles and flea beetles are almost impossible to catch. Bean plants have been pretty much care-free, but now I see holes here and there and some leaves are turning yellow. While doing the health check-up of the bean plants, I noticed some of the pods were turning yellow. When I opened them up, there were beans inside!

After reading the inspirational "Animal, Vegetables and Miracle: A Year of Food Life" by Barbara Kingsolver, I decided to grow christmas lima beans. Since this is my first time growing any kind of lima beans, I wasn't sure when to harvest these. So I took yellowish green to dry yellow pods and opened them up. You can see from the photo that the maroon colors get deeper as the pods turn yellower and the beans get drier. If they dry too much in the pods, the beans got split in the middle. I need to remember to harvest them before they get too dry.

The fresh ones in the upper row would be perfect for sauteing, or throwing in a risotto. Maybe I will have enough beans left for winter time. Let's hope that all the bugs don't eat up my bean plants.

1 comment:

Julie B. said...

I am growing these CHristmas lima beans for the first time this summer. There are some on my vine but not a ton. How do you recommend harvesting them to store for winter soups? I read about them in Barbara Kingsolver's book too!