Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Beans Glorious Beans & A Hip Girl Giveaway

This year is the year of the bean in our garden.  Our soil composition and amount of sun light limits the amount of tomatoes we can grow so I've planted them in other gardens and am replacing two beds of tomatoes with beans.

Since we're growing so many beans we're also building quite a few trelisises for them.  A few months back I was sent a copy of Kate Payne's The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking
 and have used the adorable instructions for guidance and inspiration while building my bean climbing structures.

I'll be giving away a copy of this fun, well illustrated book at the end of this post.

Here's a photographic list of our beans so far.  Don't worry, I know this is completely insane.

Stunning Poltschka Pole beans from the Populuxe seed bank.
Petaluma Goldrush from the Natural Gardening Company.  A gorgeous bush bean for drying that was originally brought to America from Peru in 1840.  These are the only bean I actually purchased, how could I resist?
Sunset Runner Beans from a trade with Julianna who I met years ago over on www.yougrowgirl.com.  These pole beans are jaw dropingly beautiful, light and dark purple markings on giant beans and the flowers will be salmon coloured setting it apart from the similar Scarlet runner bean.
Some Gold Rush snap beans I found in my seed stash.  Who knows where these came from. They're ancient too so I'm thinking they'll be a fairly low germination rate.
Mr Tung's from Kelly at the Populuxe seed bank.  These pole beans are a heirloom from originally from China with 100 years of history in British Columbia Canada. Almost extinct, some beans were discovered in an old shed on the deserted family farm & germinated after 50 years! If you are interested in growing these please contact Kelly to be a grower for her seed bank.
Monk Peas.  Not actually a bean I know.  An excellent soup pea from Fox Fire Farm and the Sister's of Providence Seed Sanctuary. 
 Rebecca found these Purple Peacocks in Almerida's shack. Described as a beautiful pole bean with dark purple pods, twinning stems, light purple flowers, dark leaves and white beans I'm very excited for them and will be planting them in the backyard bathtub this evening.
Dragon Langerie were a gift from Almerinda, also from Fox Fire Farm and the Sister's of Providence Seed Sanctuary.  These bush snap beans have purple striped pods, are Dutch in origin, have been documented since 1880, and are also known as Dragon Tongue beans.  They can be eaten right away or used for baked beans.
Slenderette Beans are a bush bean that make perfect 5' green long french snap beans in a relatively short season (45-55 days).
Vermont Cranberry.  I think I am most excited for these New England Heirloom beans.  A bush bean that dates back to 1797 know for its reliability and hardiness.
Musica are a from the seedbank and produce 9 inch pods on 9 foot plants or something crazy like that. I am not planting these in my yard but have tucked some into my friend Sarah's garden.  Surprise!
Orka beans.  A mexican heirloom, these are Almerinda's favourite.  Look closely, they look just like little whales.
Black turtle make a dwarf bush plant so I'm trying these in a container.  These pre 1832 beans are well suited to Northern regions.
Mystery bean.  hmmmm, this is why you need to label things right away.
Mayflower beans from Julianna.  A prolific pole bean perfect from soup that was brought to North America on the Mayflower.
Cannellino beans are the quintessential milestone soup bean,  another bush bean from Julianna that is growing in Sarah's yard.
Here's a happy Sunset runner seedling with true leaves.
The Chickpeas from Gayla are really growing now.

I've built numerous trellises, teepees and ladders for all these beans but they're really hard to photograph. Mine are also not as cute as Kate's book would like them to be.  See what I mean?
My rustic-ness vs the books tidiness aside, this is a nice addition to my DIY library.  With great green instructions on basic preserving, gardening and home repairs I will be sharing it with friends and I'd like to start by sharing a copy with one of my readers.

To win your own copy of the book The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking
 just leave a comment telling us what you're most excited to grow this year and a email or twitter address so I can contact you.  Rebecca will choose a winner at random one week from today on Wednesday June 8th and Harper Collins will send you a copy.


  1. Someday I will have a glorious bean garden! I'm growing some new things year and I suppose I'm most excited for the popcorn, luffas and Fantome du Laos tomato.

  2. Your beans are BEAUTIFUL Laura! You know what I'm growing this year - lots and lots of tomatoes. I want so many tomatoes that we're eating tomatoes at every meal. And for snacks in between. And still have so many that we're trying to figure out how to make dessert out of them, too.

    I'm on twitter @sacredsuds - I hope I win!

  3. Honestly, I am excited to grow anything this year. We just bought a house and put in our first garden, so canning my own tomatoes this summer might actually happen!

  4. The one thing I am most excited to grow this year (and my veggie garden is packed this year with variety!) is celery. I know? Celery?! I have never tried growing it and am excited to give 'er a go! :-)
    sbabij2 at shaw dot ca

  5. The photographs are all beautiful! Excellent post - I can tell you've 'bean' around! I think the thing that I am most excited about growing this year is, ummhh, that's hard. Some new tomato varieties, including lots of different paste tomatoes including a golden one called 'Banana legs' plus 'Margharita'. I absolutely swear I'm going to can tomato sauce for the first time ever. I'm also excited we're growing kale, including a number of selections from Cubits. We've just started eating it and love it! It will be great to walk out to the garden and harvest some fresh for dinner!

  6. I'm beyond excited for everything in my garden to grow, but, new this year, I'm growing beets (Tall Top Shiraz). I think I'm most excited to see how they do.


  7. I planted rutabaga + parsnips for the first time this year, but I'm with Melissa - anything that grows is exciting! [@allthingsjane]

  8. We're planting lots of new things this year, so I am excited about a lot... but perhaps I'm most excited about heirloom soup peas, a few varieties of kale, shiraz tall top beets, tom thumb popcorn, and cream of Saskatchewan watermelon!

  9. I am most excited for some purple pole beans and purple podded snap peas. Yeah for purple food! I LOVE those whale beans so adorable.


  10. I am most excited to grow a Josephine, who will happily eat anything we grow. And by eat, I mean, at least try. So some of your strawberries (bought from our Garden Party at school that Cubits generously donated to) for sure - but also some of your basil and lettuces.

  11. I'm very excited to be growing Lena Sisco's Birds Egg beans. I love beans, but generally stick to the bush varieties. I've been having bean envy since I saw your last picture of black beans.

  12. It's my first time with a real garden this year so I'm really exited! Your lemon balm, romanesco broccoli and parsnip are already in my little paradise! senestrorsum@hotmail.com

  13. I'm most excited to grow blueberries. I hope my little bush grows.

    lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

  14. I have expanded my balcony container garden this summer and am very excited about growing arugula and spinach for the first time! Also trying carrots in containers; I'm not quite sure how they will do, but I enjoy the adventure!


    Thanks for all your growing inspiration!

  15. It's really hard to choose a favourite this year.

    We're growing a few things that we've never attempted before: artichokes, asparagus, some heirloom tomatoes exchanged at the Seedy Sunday, big happy peonies.

    But the novelty of these are over shadowed by the giant cherry tree and the exceptionally old grape vines. Needless to say, we're excited about all of it!

    Happy beaning, Laura!

  16. This is our first year growing a vegetable garden, so I'm pretty excited about everything. But if I had to choose, it'd probably be the tomatoes. We're growing about 5 different kinds. They're always so juicy and delicious out of your own garden.

    Thanks for pointing me towards your blog and this great giveaway!


  17. Oh wow, I didn't know there were so many interesting bean types. They look amazing.

    Me, I'll be happy if I get a tidy little number of my Kentucky Wonders. And my Cherokee Purple tomatoes. I've never had luck with tomatoes. I also have one little Golden Jubilee tomato plant, of which I know nothing about, so I'm very excited to taste them!

    Also looking forward to my White Wonder cukes I'm supposed to be testing for work.

    twitter: NaviUE

  18. This is our first garden on our condo terrace - we're not sure about the sun exposure, so we're going with tomatoes, tomatillos, basil, kale, carrots and lettuce. I'm most excited about the lavender and alpine strawberries that we're still nursing indoors until our planters have some permanent dirt in them.
    I'm really most excited just about gardening with my kids - 2 and 3.5 - who love their "seed babies" and sing them songs...

  19. i'm most excited to grow spearmint(to dry for teas this winter) & more cucumbers (pickling!). this is only my second year at this wee patch. already excited about growing potatoes in towers next year!

  20. I've been trying to grow pole beans for the first time this year, but so far it's a complete failure. As soon as the seeds start to peek above ground, something either chews through the stem or a bird (I think it is the Robin with a nest in a nearby tree) eats the tops right off. I put a collar around this latest go-round but when I checked them this morning, the bird had eaten about half of them. Any ideas that will help me. Thanks

  21. I'm in the process of buying land to farm beans. I love most about heirloom beans, second only to the vast array of shapes/colors/sizes is the stories. Landless for another month (and so will miss this season) I've planted In my mom's garden several varieties that have been handed to me when I tell people of my quest. I'm most looking forward to the black garbonzo harvest. Their flavor and texture are outstanding and eating black food is good fun.

  22. this year i'm most excited about growing quinoa, egyptian walking onions and this is my first year trying to grow beans for drying. my heirloom steuben yellow eye beans are sprouting now. so excited!


  23. I'm excited to grow patio tomatoes this year! Thanks for the chance to win :)

    -craftytofu at yahoo dot com

  24. I am most excited about green beans because I get to see the genuine thrill in my 3 year old, watching it grow and eventually eating. Everything is magical in a three year olds eyes. :)

  25. I'm really hoping for lots of tomatoes!


  26. Yay, I'm so excited we blogged beans on the same day! Yours are gorgeous beyond words, very inspiring.

    I've been most excited so far about my many tomato varieties, especially Green Zebra -- delicious and eye-poppingly lovely. In my summer garden, I crave tons of Japanese eggplant, pumpkins and 10 varieties of peppers until the desert cools down.

    reneefelicity at twitter.com

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. And I thought I was growing a lot of beans this year! I've got about 8 varieties going this year- my newest is Tolosa Basque pole beans which look very similar to the Poltschka Pole variety. I'm jealous of all of the interestings ones you got- my cranberry is a pole variety!

    The most exciting thing I'm growing this year is not what but where- my squash are going in bins on the roof!

  29. Thanks for the giveaway! I'm most excited to grow tomatoes and strawberries this year! So delicious and beautiful!!

  30. What beautiful pictures! I'm most excited for our rhubarb! Mmmmm rhubarb pie!

  31. I'm excited to grow my favorite herbs in pots on the patio: cilantro, basil, chives and mint. Thanks for the giveaway!

    onehotstove AT gmail DOT com

  32. I am excited to grow potatoes this year, I have planted tons of other things, but potatoes this year is my goal, and then I am going to try and build a cold room to store them for the winter...oh boy...high hopes I sure do have. Awesome giveaway by the way!

  33. I'm not a pro at growing much, but I'm looking forward to some herbs to add to all those Summer salads!

  34. Wow! What beautiful photographs! The thing I'm most excited to grow this year is lemon balm. I love taking some of those fresh leaves, adding them to hot water, pouring in a little honey, and having fresh tea. So delicious!


    writeme at heidimail dot com

  35. We are moving soon, and I am really excited about growing some flowers at our new home. The question is, what kind? :)

    Lovely blog---the photographs are stunning.


  36. I can't wait to plant our new guava trees!

    ykatrina at hotmail dot com

  37. We're most excited to grow our new strawberry bushes!

  38. I am most excited to try and grow some basil. I tried last year and didn't have much success but I will have more luck this year.

  39. I am most excited to grow my tomatoes, I know it's pretty basic but I am new to this!


  40. I am really excited to grow purple, white and yellow carrots this year. Last year my garden got washed away by heavy rain the day after we planted and I couldn't get more seeds in time. This year I got multiple bags, just in case! I hope I win!!! I really want this book!! Thank you so much for the entry!

    sorgaards (at) gmail (dot) com

  41. ms(dot)verymarried(at)gmail(dot)com

    i'd like to try growing an indoor basil plant - i hear it keeps flies away too!

  42. I'm growing garlic for the first time. I'm excited to see how they turn out.

    whosyerbuddie AT yahoo DOT com

  43. Love the book! We are trying to grow a few new things this year...kale, okra, and a persimmon tree!

  44. Kind of odd, but I'm going to try growing catnip for my cats!
    CrystalW07 at aol.com

  45. I'm so looking forward to picking my first ever strawberries I grew! they're nearly ripe!


  46. Hi! I just moved into a new apartment, and I am going to get a window box to grow some basil and rosemary in! I love using fresh herbs in my cooking!


  47. I'm most excited to be growing golden beets because I can never find them locally.

  48. This is our first year with a garden, so I'm excited for everything we're growing! We set up two 2x5-foot container gardens on the back porch of our little townhouse, and once I get my seeds from you all, I'll have two little planter boxes for lettuces. I can't wait to have my own Japanese eggplants, cucumbers, hot peppers, and green peppers. It will be amazing.

    The bonus? Our son will get to enjoy the whole gardening process with us. He's only 15 months old and loves to help me water the plants. It's so awesome. :)

  49. So I have never grown anything in my life (successfully), but I want to be able to someday. I want to grow tomatoes!

    hopester777 at gmail dot com

  50. I planted strawberries last year and they're growing quite nicely this year :) It's my first thing that I ever planted :)
    All the best,
    olluszka at gmail dot com

  51. I am very excited about my strawberries. I planted them last year, but they have grown a lot since then. Nothing compares to ultra fresh juicy strawberries!

  52. I'm most excited about the lavender, though the red lanterns will be awesome, too!

    kimbahleigh666 at gmail dot com

  53. I have never grown anything in my life and am extremely interested in starting or at least attempting ;)

    sassysasha817 at gmail dot com

  54. I am excited about my rutabegas and parsnips. They are both new for me this year.

  55. Ginger! Love it but have never grown it before...saw my first root bud today!

  56. I'm excited about our entire veggie garden that my two-year-old helped us plant this year! Not nearly as excited as she is, however!

    kschuk at gmail dot com

  57. I'm just excited to be growing some flowers on my patio. I have no yard for a garden and since we face north, I get maybe an hour of sun on a tiny sliver of the patio. I just had to return this book to the library and would LOVE to win my very own copy!

  58. I'm excited to be growing herbs!
    4given1 at gmail dot com

  59. I am most excited to grow my own tomatoes this year! I have always wanted a veggie garden, but have never lived anywhere with the outdoor space. www.twitter.com/mrsfujimori

  60. This is my first garden ever. I have no clue what I am doing, but I sure am excited! I ordered some Thai Pepper seeds from you via Etsy and right now they are doing the best of all of my seedlings!

  61. My fiance decided that he wanted to grow a garden this year but I had no idea how. After rolling up my sleeves and deciding he had a great idea we're going to start with the basics, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, beans, and carrots. I can't wait, I've never had vegetables out of my own garden, I am loving this! - miranda.schiller@shaw.ca