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The climbing beans come good

December 3rd, 2011
by Lucas Ihlein

Climbing Beans, December 2011, Austinmer Every spring I find I am too busy to be a perfectly organised gardener. But each year I do remember to put in at least one vegetable on time. This year, it was the turn of the climbing bean. Previously, I’ve noticed that climbing beans, although they require more tending (trussing em up!) tend to be much more productive than “bush beans”. Plus they are amazing to watch, the way they wend their way up a wall or a trellis almost so fast that you can watch them in action. In our new home in Austinmer, we have a makeshift carport/shed which has been cleverly designed. Kudos to Lillian, the lady who used to live here. All the neighbours sing her praises for her intelligent and attractive gardening work. Climbing Beans, December 2011, Austinmer Against the wall of the carport is a small raised garden bed. The carport provides a windbreak and helps create a warm microclimate. The roof of the carport collects rainwater which funnels into a small tank attached to a hose. Plastic mesh has been mounted on the carport wall. The whole thing is perfect for growing things which don’t have much of a footprint, but which like to go vertical. Like climbing beans! Climbing Beans, December 2011, Austinmer In mid September I planted two varieties: “lazy wife” and “purple king”. So far, as you can see from the photo below, the purple king are winning. But who knows when lazy wife will catch up. There is nothing as delicious as a bean picked and eaten fresh off the stalk. Climbing Beans, December 2011, Austinmer

3 Responses to “The climbing beans come good”

  1. 1 Mike
    December 4th, 2011 at 19:39

    Nice climbing beans Mr Stringbean…… we used to call then string beans in England. On a family hotel stay in Cornwall one summer the proprietor grew about an acre of them, enough to feed the hotel guests for the summer season. I guess it’s too late to try my luck at them; I’m just establishing a new bed against an east facing wall (like yours nez pas?), after having built a grand set of steps descending from a circle of compacted pulverised granite. (I will post here when we have the grand opening!)
    As for the lazy wife, what can you say……try more water, or less? Make sure she’s lying comfortably, in the bed? Try a different position? Up against a wall instead of enmeshed? Different bedfellows?
    All these approaches may be fruitless. Take advice from the local seedsman about what will work best in your locality.

  2. 2 Jo Law
    December 8th, 2011 at 14:06

    We went on an op-shop adventure yesterday to our favourite – Vinnies on Ajax Avenue in North Wollongong. Hollis and I went through the stacks of 10¢ to 50¢ old magazines for collage and scrapbook materials. We happened to choose a September 2007 Australian Gourmet Traveller which featured some green beans recipes! There are recipes for: Bean, potato, and pesto salad, Bean and fennel soup with ricotta toasts, Slow-cooked Roman beans with tomatoes, Salt-cod and bean fritters, Braised beans with tahini yoghurt and pached eggs, and Rice noodles with sanke beans, prawns and holy basil. I cut them out and save them for you.

  3. 3 Lucas
    December 11th, 2011 at 19:34

    thanks jo, looking forward to seeing those recipes, we need em! although i still think the best way is straight off the beanstalk.

    mike, thanks for the harvest from your fecund imagination…