Crunch, crunch, crunch. Fresh green beans, straight from my humble plot in the Rockwood Park community garden. Raw is my favourite way to eat them, and this year, I have a pile to eat.
The taste takes me back to growing up on the farm in Mar, Ontario, which my brother took over a few years ago. (My parents now farm on my grandfather’s homestead).
Picking beans was a chore, because Mom had a massive garden, meant to keep us fed through the winter. There were also rows and rows of potatoes, corn, peas, spinach, onions and other hearty vegetables. In late summer, we’d pick, clean, cut and freeze or can. I remember helping my tireless Mom “nib” the beans, which just means to trim off the ends. The best part for me was sneaking a few beans for myself.
Today I can eat as many as I want. I love the slightly rough texture of the bean on my tongue, and piercing through the juicy legume with my teeth. I wash them and eat them whole, tossing away the stems.
It hasn’t been a great season of gardening for me. Most of the things I planted in mid-June failed because of the wet mess of the summer we’ve had in the Maritimes. Not nearly the same heat as Ontario either. Many times I’ve visited my little plot to find it surrounded by muddy puddles of water. It seems a few furry friends have nibbled the ends of my plants as well. I will have to decide soon if I will put down the $15 deposit to garden again next year.
All told, I’ve only successfully grown some thyme, lettuce, a handful of carrots, radishes, and of course beans this year. The beans have been by far, superior. Bursting with fresh deliciousness and a hint of farm memories.