Sunday, July 15, 2012

Frenching It


This year I'm experimenting with French filet beans, or haricot vert, or Freedom beans if you're feeling rather 'merican. I've read they are difficult -is that what makes them French, or is difficult but rewarding the French raison d'etre? Either way, these beans have proven both difficult and easy, and the season's only just begun.

'Maxibel' on the left and 'Soleil' on the right. Soleil is decidedly difficult, it has not grown more than 6 inches since planting, looks pale and generally not vigorous. I've thinned the row last week and it appears better this week. I will give it credit for being a yellow filet, as all yellow beans tend to be less vigorous and susceptible to disease. Maxibel, so far so good, but waitin' on your beans.

The second planting of Maxibel and Soleil, seeded three weeks after. Something has nibbled to nothing the tender tops of Soleil. Not looking good for Soleil.

On the left, 'Fin de Bagnol,' center 'Nickel,' and to the right 'Velour.' Fin has been the fastest grower and already has some harvestable beans, but is struggling with leaf hoppers. Nickel is deep green and just began to produce flowers. Velour is a purple-skinned filet growing not quite as tall, but healthy, with a more open habit.

It does have lovely flowers and the beans are a deep purple with a fine pubescence -therefore Velour.

This week we have a handful of Fin de Bagnol beans. Taste is not unlike the larger American-style green beans, but more tender -finer. What I've read makes these beans difficult is their incessant harvest requirement. Don't miss it or your French beans become English or worse. Here you can see the mottling on the leaves caused by what I think are leaf hoppers. The damage looks Whitefly, but I didn't bring in any plants that weren't seeded by yours truly and I've seen the hoppers. They were here before when this was the garlic bed. Hasn't yet seemed to affect productivity.

The second seeding of Fin, Nickel, and Velour. Something nibbling here, but I have not found the pest. I'm starting to believe it is a rabbit. I've never seen rabbits around the garden, but this year I've seen them nearby. A gardener told me she has seen one hanging out near my beans at dusk. Hasenpfeffer anyone? Oh, no, it's a cute little bunny. I would never, but I do have bird net just as good for beans (and strawberries too) as it was for tomatoes.


1 comment:

  1. Bunnies are delicious. I made one in the crockpot last weekend.

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