The Garden: Progress Report #7

My first year gardening with Papa has been a bittersweet one.  I began the season excited about finding the Partridge head beans in the deep freeze and eager to learn from Papa.  While I have learned a lot from Papa, … Continue reading

Butter Beans

Whenever I visit my grandparents in Kentucky, there is always a lot of food involved.  Delicious.  Country.  Food.

My favorite kind of food that my grandmothers prepare is homegrown beans.  I love love love them, especially topped with fresh diced onion and jalapeno pepper, which also come from my papa’s garden.   If there are beans and cornbread on the table, there’s really no point in preparing anything else for me because all I’m interested in are those two items.

This past weekend, my granny made me some butter beans, which are speckled lima beans.  And as my whole family knows, I love me some butter beans.

Last Christmas, we were all working our way around the kitchen to fill up our plates with food and when I got to the butter beans, I said “I love me some butter beans.”  I didn’t realize that my whole family had heard me trying on my country accent for size, but they all started to crack up, especially my Aunt Vickie.  We still laugh about it now every time we have beans.

My love for butter beans runs so deep that I even tried to grow them in Boston last summer.

This is what they look like dried (as seed):

And this is what they look like as they begin to grow as shown in a picture of my garden last summer:

Now, as I mentioned, these I tried to grow in Boston, in a yard that had about 10 square feet of full day sun, imported soil, and a growing season about a month too short.  They are pretty pitiful.  In Kentucky, however, my papa’s bean plants grow to be about 8 feet tall and are so dense that they form a canopy between rows.

My yield was about 47 beans last summer.

My papa’s yield was probably 2047 beans last summer.

My solution to my gardening challenges?

Move South.

I have since moved to Nashville, TN and am driving up to Kentucky every few weeks to help my papa with his garden.   No joke.  I’m very serious about butter beans.

I have high hopes for the butter bean crop this year.

I love me some butter beans.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?