This year's garden is well on it's way. We've enjoyed many delicious salads this year, but it's too early to harvest much else here in Bellingham. It's been said that summer in northwest Washington state doesn't really begin until July 5, and for the few years we've lived here that has been true. We have a much shorder growing season here than any other place I've lived, but that doesn't stop me from trying to grow fresh vegetables for my family. You can read more about why I grow food here.
Potatoes? My grandfather is probably rolling over in his grave, wondering, "Didn't we raise her better than to waste good land growing potatoes when you can buy a whole sack of them cheap at the store?"
I love potatoes! And of course I can buy them at the store, but I especially like those long, skinny fingerling potatoes, and they're actually king of expensive. So I've planted a long, wide trench of them, as well as a few purple fingerlings and red potatoes from the market. I've never grown potatoes, so I'm hoping I did everything right. The plants (front of photo below) look good, anyway.
I'm growing the beans against the house this year. The shorter vines on the right are just regular green beans.The taller bean vines on the left are an heirloom variety of shelling beans, similar to cranberry beans. I don't know the actual variety.
My husband's family have been making a delicious bean salad with these beans for decades. It's made up of these cooked beans, salt, pepper, salad oil, wine vinegar (homemade if you're lucky), and maybe a little thinly sliced red onion.
The story I heard was that Fred's nonno (grandfather) grew these beans in Italy, brought them here, and continued growing them, saving some seeds each year to grow the following year. We were given some seeds when we bought our first house and have been growing our own beans ever since.
This will be the first time we've tried growing them in Bellingham. If all goes well, we'll have enough warm, sunny days for them to mature and dry on the vine (or at least begin drying). We'll harvest them and allow the bean pods to get completely dry, then remove the dried beans.
Not only do I enjoy eating the yummy bean salad we'll make with these beans, I love being part of this family tradition and sharing it with our daughter.