Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit….

Lots of grass this summer! This picture was taken 5 weeks after grazing this paddock.

 With all of our beautiful warm sunny days followed by rain in the evenings, we have had some great growing conditions for the crops and the pastures.

Our garden is no different.  It has been super productive this year, growing chickweed and thistle…and also quite a few veggies!


Photo credit to our daughter. I can’t make a pea look this good.

I decided to spend half an hour in the garden to pick all of the beans yesterday.  Two hours later, here’s what I had –

Green beans win for productivity.


– All from 2 little rows!  And there’s more out there!  Not sure if you can tell by all the exclamation marks, but it’s a little overwhelming!!

So, it would appear that we will be getting some fibre in our diets for the next few days.  I was trying to think of creative new ways to serve beans so that I could avoid the ‘beans again?!?’ looks and stares. 


There are some old standbys that work well for our family, but a big favorite are “Diane’s Mustard Beans”.  Diane makes the best mustard bean pickles.  I know that this is true because even using the recipe she gave me, mine aren’t quite the same.

Luckily, she was around the farm this year when we got our first beans picked, and she agreed to come over and put on a small tutorial on mustard bean making.  As you can probably tell in the picture below, she was very excited to have her picture featured on our blog.  In the end, she agreed to allow her picture to be shown…I think.

This is Diane. She’s enthusiastically showing me how to stir beans…or maybe she’s telling me not to take her picture…

Here’s the recipe:

Diane’s Mustard Beans

3 cups white vinegar

½ cup flour

1 tbsp turmeric

½ cup dry mustard

3 cups granulated sugar

1 tbsp pickling spice

Cheese cloth

4 quarts (one ice-cream pail) of yellow beans

            Boil the beans in lightly salted water until just tender.  Don’t cook them.  This takes about 5 minutes. Drain them and make your dressing by mixing the mustard and flour, turmeric and mustard in a gravy shaker with about 1 cup of the vinegar.  Shake it up so it won’t be lumpy. 

Preparing the dressing in a gravy shaker.

Heat up the other 2 cups of vinegar in a large pot.  Add the sugar and stir it in until it dissolves.  Slowly pour the dressing into the warm vinegar, whisking so that you won’t have lumps.  Tie the pickling spice into a square of cheese cloth and let it float in the dressing. 

This is what the spices look like when they are tied into cheese cloth. Should have taken the picture before we dropped them in – this looks a bit gross.

Keep heating up the mixture until it thickens.  Pour the beans into the dressing and bring back to a boil.  Seal in jars.




 “Beans are neither fruit nor musical”  – Nancy Cartwright



2 responses to “Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit….

  1. Looks yummy. We don’t get yellow beans much here -usually sugar snaps, purple hulls, or what we grew up calling field peas or cream peas ( we ate them – others used them for feed)
    But this sounds good. Maybe I can find some yellow ones at one of the farmer’s markets

  2. If you were closer, I’d bring you a bag to try. Just picked the last of them, and we’ve got more than enough. I hope you find some!

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