What’s New for 2013 -Greens and Beans

Part of the fun of growing edibles is trying new things, whether it’s a new variety of an old stand by, or something completely different.
Here are a few of things we’ll be trying when the weather breaks:

Wheatgrass and Sheep's Sorrel

A lot of nutrition in little packets.

Wheatgrass is well known for his high nutrient content. Not only is it used for juicing, it’s also quite decorative as an indoor or outdoor plant.
Since it’s grass, it’s probably also quite easy to grow, right?

We first heard of sorrel in the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers when the female lead Jane Powell exclaims “Sorrel… it makes real nourishin’ soup.” Sorrel is high in Vitamins A, C and B9. Although it has a similar nutritional content to spinach, sorrel does not like the cold. It is a good summer crop to follow your cool weather greens.

three kinds of beans

Three new varieties of beans.

The Blue Speckled Tepary Beans are a dry bean that is wonderfully drought tolerant. We use much more dry beans than green beans in the Jones household, as they are a tasty and easy to store source of protein. To be honest, the name of this particular variety caught my eye. There is not nearly enough ‘blue’ in the garden.

One of my favorite cartoon characters as a kid used to love the expression ‘suffering succotash.’ Are you old enough to remember? I was well into adulthood before I found out what he was referring to.
Alabama Blackeyed Butter Beans are a productive variety of Lima bean that we’re hoping likes corn as much as we do.

Can you have too many dry black beans?
That’s a rhetorical question.
This year we’re trying Mike the Gardener’s Black Valentine bean… the name reminded me of a Billy Idol song. I’m not sure why, exactly.

cowpeas

When peas are beans.

Cowpeas are beans? Who knew? And… what’s a cowpea?
A plant more common in southern gardens, cowpeas can add fabulous variety to your homemade dishes.
They are bit scary when described as ‘a good cover crop to kill off weeds’ by Baker Creek Seeds, but as I understand it, that is when they are planted closer together.
They can be eaten like snap beans when the pods are young and still tender, or harvested later like a dry bean.
This should be interesting!

Have you even grown any of these? We would love to hear about it!

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