Category Archives: Beans

It’s been a Long, Hot (& Dry) Summer

It’s been warmer than usual and the plants are not happy (at all)!
Global warming? Who knows … I’m not an expert and only exist on this nano spec of the globe with a backyard that has been and is still being roasted.

I chose the lesser of 2 “evils” … let everything grow, like a wild forest, because if the tall ones can survive the heat, they’ll provide the lower plants some shade.

It’s just wild!

It’s a real forest.

Survival of the Fittest.

The harvest has not been good either ~ oh! those poor plants ~ but …
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Fruity Seed-starting Pots

Our Passionfruit (Passiflora Incarnata) harvesting season is coming to its close. It has been a good stretch with fruits galore. The tough rind has been put in bokashi bins, compost bins and cut up, then put in the worm bin as feed.

Their latest use has been as seed-starting pots. Just like papier mache seed-starting pots, which is composted to become “soil”, Passionfruit rind will do likewise so why not try them for a new function?

Pole beans in their “new” seed-starting pots.

Germination has begun …

They sprouted healthily.

Whole ‘pots’ went into soil once cotyledons appeared

They seem happy 😀

There will be a few more ‘fruity seed-starting pots’ available once we cut up the remaining Passionfruits on our kitchen counter to be preserved for future devouring.

Yum-yum! Every part gets used.


Close Antcounter ~ DP Weekly Photo Challenge

I’ve decided to share some macro pictures of my gardening assistants who were at a meeting on my yard-long beans this afternoon. They were probably just fooling around, licking secretions from the blossoms’ stems. These ants protect these beans and these beans feed these ants. Is that evolutionary coexistence or what?!

Antsy meeting

Antsy meeting

... tastes gooood

… tastes gooood

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Close Up.”

Red Runner Beans ~ Do they really run?

They can ~ if you allow them to. They wouldn’t run from spot to spot but they can ‘run wild’ and cover your trellis with green leaves and beautiful red flowers.  These vines are superbly decorative and whole pods are edible when young. They can be cut half-inch diagonally and stir-fried with olive oil and garlic ~ just like French Beans and Yard Beans.

A sizable matured pod

A sizable matured pod

Red bean flowers.

Red bean flowers.

When more matured they can be bean-podded and the beans used in stews or slow cooked dishes.

The flowers are just beautifully striking red and I’m very tempted to save a large amount of seeds/beans to actually grow a “bean-wall” next year, just for fun.

I’ve been recently told that the flowers are edible too, but I haven’t tried them yet. I have so much more to learn about this vine.

This is my 2nd year growing this bean and each year, more seeds are saved and sowed. I’m still not sure which I prefer ~ looking at the vines full of flowers and beans or cutting the beans early & cooking them whole.

Long Beans (长豆) … but how long?

I’ve always called them Long Beans or 长豆 (zhǎng dòu) until coming to the US and heading to Asian produce stores only to see them being called Yard Beans. Now I use both terms though I’m still not sure how the term “Yard Beans” came about. Is it because it’s usually grown in people’s back yards or is it meant to grow to a yard (91.44cm) in length.

Not a yard in length  :(

Not a yard in length

I’ve grown this for a few years now and each season watch carefully, in case I do get one which is 1 full yard in length ~ so far, in vain.

almost 2ft

almost 2ft

Oh well, it grows easily during Florida’s spring and summer in half-shade, needs a trellis and has good vegetable protein. So …

Long beans goes well in fried rice!

Long beans goes well in fried rice!

These will be cut into ½ inch lengths and then into my wok contributing to this afternoon’s lunch.

Readers should try growing this too as they are decorative while edible and grow well in pots.

Ants on Beans

Yes, Ants are Antsy! Definition of Antsy: restless, anxious, fidgety. When you watch the worker ants, they are like Hercules, lifting matters twice their size and weight and just working continuously. Like Bees, they work to serve their queen and are willing to die for their colony.

No, I don’t love Ants but they I do find them fascinating. They have found my long beans, so now I have to watch carefully because when ants congregate, aphids are a-coming. They seem to have this ‘buddy-buddy’ relationship.

Ants ~ the pollinators

Ants ~ on the green long beans

Red long beans

None on the red long beans – yet.

I usually spray water with dishwashing liquid but 24hrs later they are back. Urgh! Does anyone have a good way of getting rid of Aphids and Ants without using chemical pest repellent(s)?



Winged Beans (Kacang Botol)

Literally translated, Kacang Botol means Bottle Beans. Image

It took a long time before it actually burst out to climb the trellis & I’ve found out it does not like Summer. Too long hours of sunlight. But when the weather began to be conducive, it grew so fast, you can see the difference it made daily.


ImageKacang Botol galore ~ fry with Sambal, put in lemak, curry, Thai dishes ….

Bean There, Done That

ImageRed Runner Beans
I call these my Ornamental Edibles.

Beans do reflect how they feel about the soil they are growing in.

I guess Jack threw his Beans in rich loam which helped their Stalks grow fast, strong and lengthy.

Mine are telling me they’re happy to re-seed because these are nice and healthy descendants.

My secret …?
Timberland Manure Compost.