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Climbing beans - great to grow, eat, and preserve


This year Dave and I have enjoyed growing Purple King climbing beans. In the picture above you can see them growing up our corn plants, and the other two pictures show our bean tipi. Growing them up corn is a great use of space, and you feel very productive when you see them twirling up the stalks with pumpkin and squash vines making their way beneath. However, the beans are not quite as productive as they have to compete with the corn for resources.

I love this pic with our house in the background and the boys on the lawn. I prefer growing climbing beans in comparison to bush beans. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, they are neater. They do not flop everywhere like bush beans and they are harder to damage accidentally. Secondly, they take up less space. As well as the Purple King beans, we grow the Scarlet Runner climbing beans that have pretty red flowers.


Purple King beans are stringless when young, so they can be eaten in the same way as bush green or butter beans. They do not retain their lovely purple colour when cooked, but change to grey-green. Their purple colour does make them easier to see on the vine though. These beans do develop some stringiness as they get older, so if you want to eat the pods you have to remove the strings or chop them finely for a soup. We enjoy eating our climbing beans steamed, or in bean salad, bean dip, or stir fry. They are also great to blanch and freeze for later in the year when we don't have them fresh. In fact, that is what I have just been doing! It is easy to use up excess beans in this way.

Deb  – (February 13, 2010 at 11:48 PM)  

That is the cutest picture of smiling Elnathan peeking out behind the beans!! Looks like you are enjoying a great harvest.

Faith  – (February 14, 2010 at 7:55 AM)  

I just love that first picture of you and your baby!
and the one with your husband and baby is wonderful too. you live in a beautiful area. The bean plants look great!!!

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