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.


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


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



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


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



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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