Sunday, June 7, 2009

Planting green beans and organizing your information

Every morning I just check over the garden to see what's new - there are always grape tomatoes to pick.  Today there was a ripe large tomato and a few green beans and two zucchinis. 

After many cloudy and rainy days, today is sunny and not too humid so I decided to do a second planting of beans. Thank goodness for the internet, my source of all gardening information.
I had read that it's good to soak beans before planting them.  But I learned that "seeds of ost varieties tend to crack and germinate poorly if the soil's moisture content is too high.  For this reason, never soak bean seed before planting." (University of Illinois Extension

I planted 10 beans - the bush bean type, which was more successful for me than the pole-bean type.  I added a little worm casting fertilizer to give the soil a boost.  We'll see how they do!

For those of you who are new to gardening, like me, here's a tip: get a 3-ring loose-leaf binder with tabs for A-Z.  As you find the information you need on the internet, or elsewhere, place it under the appropriate letter.  For instance, I have information about beans and blueberries under "B".  (I'm a retired professional organizer. I can't help it!)

Here's a recipe from the U. of Illinois website that I'm going to try:

Steamed Green Beans with Lemony Vinaigrette

Lemony Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chives or green onion with green top, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon each, salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or safflower oil

In a small bowl combine parsley, lemon juice, yogurt, and chives. Set bowl on a wet towel to avoid slippage. Add oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly until vinaigrette is blended. Chill.

Steamed Green Beans

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, leave whole
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, cut into julienne strips

Wash green beans and remove the stem end only, leave whole. Steam or blanch green beans for 3 minutes. Toss with julienne red pepper. Toss green beans and red peppers with enough vinaigrette to coat vegetables, about 1/3 cup. Serve warm. Leftover vinaigrette can be used as a salad dressing. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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