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July 29, 2010

How to Prepare Red Runner Beans

I keep being asked how to prepare these particular beans.

Here are the culprits - picked and ready to go. You usually pick these beans when they are quite large and notice how they are flatter than your average green bean.

Beans_1.jpg

They tend to have stringy sides which need to be cut off. So start the first cut as in the picture below

Beans_2.jpg

Then continue the cut down one side of the bean as below

Beans_3.jpg

Beans_4.jpg

When you get to the bottom of that side of the bean, turn and then cut down the other side.

Beans_5.jpg

Now the stringy sides are gone, you have to cut little diagonal slices like below.

Beans_6.jpg

Voila!
Beans_7.jpg

Now steam or boil for as long as you would normally cook pole beans and enjoy their superior taste.

July 14, 2009

2 Books to Read About Backyard Farming

Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, a Short History of Herding and the Art of Making Cheese, by Brad Kessler.
Brad writes " The longer I lived with goats the more connections I saw to a collective human past we've since forgotten, here in North America at least. I saw how so many aspects of our everyday culture arose from a lifestyle of herding hoofed animals".

Based out of Vermont, read how Kessler and his wife started off with two goats and changed their lives.

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, by Novella Carpenter.
Very interesting account of an Oakland backyard farmer.

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