My Bean Pics 2

cowabunga1(Zone 6)August 30, 2008

Hello,

This is a follow-up posting to my first thread found here. These were taken about a week ago. It has been a fun year growing these beans! Things are starting to cool down here in North Idaho so I don't think I'll be able to enjoy these beans much longer. :( I'm not looking forward to winter.

~Sam

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chaman(z7MD)

These are beutiful pics.Are garrafale oro same as sword beans?
Where did you buy the seeds from?I am interested in growing them next year.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 8:53PM
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cowabunga1(Zone 6)

chaman, I don't think garrafal is a sword bean. If you do a plant search here, the sword bean they talk about is very different. I didn't buy the seeds but I was given them by a very generous man here who goes by the name of "tormato". I wish I could offer you some of my seed but they wouldn't be pure seed because they were grown so close to each other. If you are looking for garrafal beans you can get them here, or, if I were you, I would see if someone wanted to do a seed trade on here.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 10:24PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I'm surprised to see the "Garafal Oro" curl like that. Mine were a pretty consistent scimitar shape. Cowabunga, if you intend to freeze any of those beans, "Emerite" might be the best choice.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 12:43AM
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cowabunga1(Zone 6)

Zeedman, my Garrafal Oro all curled like that until they got larger then they were more scimitar shaped like you mentioned. See the larger beans in the center of the picture (the first Garrafal picture) are about 7 inches and more straightened out. I thought that was interesting too.

Thanks for the tip on freezing the Emerites. What is the best way to freeze beans? Whenever we've tried freezing them they always end up becoming rubbery after thawing them out.

~Sam

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 1:42AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I just answered this question elsewhere, darned if I can find it though...

To freeze beans, I cut them (or snap them) then blanch them in boiling water for about 3 minutes. The time can vary, depending upon the weight of the beans, the amount of water in the kettle, and the heat setting - one pound takes about 3 minutes. This is best done in a kettle with a basket, so the beans can be transfered immediately at the end of that time.

After 3 minutes, they go immediately into the sink, into a kettle already full of cold water. Some use ice for this, but cold running water has always worked well for me. Cool them for the same length of time used to blanch them, stirring several times. If blanched properly, they should sink as they cool. Then drain them, pack them into a suitable freezer container, and freeze them promptly.

I have also had rubbery beans over the years, and found a few tips to reduce the chances. As I mentioned above, beans (as with most vegetables) must be cooled immediately following their blanching period. If there is any delay, they will continue to cook, and the quality will be reduced.

They should also be frozen as quickly as possible following cooling. Vacuum-sealed bags will preserve them with little deterioration; but I found that it is best to freeze them in boxes first, then vacuum seal the block. If vacuum sealed while wet, water & debris can be sucked into the seal, causing the seal to fail.

Proper freezing will preserve the quality of the beans, but there are a few tricks to cooking the frozen beans as well. I don't thaw them until just before cooking, to preserve their crispness. For larger amounts, I throw the still-frozen beans straight into a kettle of boiling water. Generally, as soon as the water begins to boil again, the beans are just about done - I'll check one every minute or so. Vigilance at this stage is probably more important than any other step in the process; the difference between done & over-cooked can be just a minute or two.

Once done, remove them from the water immediately. Just as with blanching, you need to halt the cooking process to preserve quality. For larger amounts, you might want to spray them with cold water briefly, until they are just warm. I always butter mine, so I kill two birds with one stone, and stir the cold butter into the hot beans.

When it comes to freezing, all varieties are not equal. Many that are great cooked fresh are terrible frozen; flat-podded & wax varieties have given me the most problems. Round-podded varieties (such as KY Wonder, Rattlesnake, Emerite, and Fortex, among others) seem to be best for freezing. Emerite had the best frozen quality of any bean I have tried, staying very firm after freezing. Wider Romano types (including Garafal Oro) can be OK also, but it becomes doubly important to perform steps promptly, since they will over-cook easily.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 3:44PM
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chaman(z7MD)

Zeedman,thanks for sharing your experience about freezing beans.We let our Tindora cuts drain water longer after cooling.I believe that could be the reason why they become rubbery and tasteless.We boil the vegetables the same way you do.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 8:43PM
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cowabunga1(Zone 6)

Zeedman, thanks so much for the info on freezing! I appreciate it very much. I'll give it a try and see how it goes.

~Sam

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 1:23PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

Your Jeminez look like the ones I grow. I just wish I had a better crop this year.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 6:39AM
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