This year we grew four different types of beans. We grew Dragon's Tongue (see our July 29th, 2009 blog entry for more details on this particular bean), also the Pencil Pod Golden Wax bean, and the Royalty Purple Pod bean from seed acquired through the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. All three of those seeds are heirloom strains. The fourth bean that we grew was another purple variety that was not heirloom and though delicious will not be sought out again simply because it is not an heirloom, if you are interested in knowing more about it you can check out our blog from August 1st, 2009 which speaks in detail about this bean.
We grew so many beans this year because friends of the family had given us some beans that they had pickled last year and they were amazing! So far we have eaten ours fresh, given some away, dehydrated some and recently froze a few pounds for "fresh" veggies in the winter. I am going to briefly tell you how to freeze your own beans so that you can enjoy this summer treat all year round.
Basically it is a two step process. To begin with you need to blanche the beans. In order to do this take a gallon of water and bring it to a boil. Put about one pound of beans into the boiling water for about three minutes. The next step is to take them off of the stove and quickly cool them with cold water from the tap for an additional three minutes. The goal is to stop the cooking process. By blanching the beans you are destroying the enzymes and bacteria that will rob the veggie of its nutrients and will effect the color, flavor, and texture of the beans even after freezing. Once the bean has been rinsed dry them off and put them in a freezer bag, do your best to make it air tight and then put them in the freezer, simple as that!