Saturday, February 27, 2010

Week of March 1 2010 : Beans

(Here is a file photo of soybeans and a comic strip too. Soybeans are such a beautiful plant and fun to grow. They are a tastee snack when eaten as edamame and they can be processed into foods such as milk and tofu. The plants are legumes, meaning they fixate nitrogen into the soil as they grow so they are part of a sound crop rotation).

Years ago when I was running and competing in road races, I found myself at the start line of a race. To everybody on the start line, this was no random point. To the real competitors, it was exactly 5 gut wrenching, soul searching kilometers from downtown Navarre. To me, it was the middle of some farmer's soybean field. While everybody else was warming up and stretching, I was oogling the beans.

So THAT was what real beans looked like.

My beans at home did not look like these beans. My beans were bean stumps. The seeds germinated and grew but the deer chomped them all down to stumps. The beans were determined and continued to grow. Soon the deer were back and the plants reduced to stumps, again.

Many years and a 7' fence later, my beans look like those Navarre beans. Although those were probably processing bean, I grow fresh market beans. Just like field corn is to sweet corn, soybean is to edamame. Both field corn and soybean are intended to be harvested dry then processed. But sweet corn and edamame are intended to be harvested fresh and succulent.

The most common use for fresh soybean is to boil in salty water then eat as a snack. My favorite recipe is roasted sweet corn and edamame salad. What is your favorite edamame recipe?

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