My small, shady garden has a delicious secret this year. Tucked behind the lavender hedge, below the mountain ash tree is a patch of bush beans – green, yellow, purple. The purple are a glistening deep regal color that glows with the shifting sun like the color of grape juice. They are by far my favorite. Crisp, shiny, tasty – and surprising in that I really had little hope I’d get a crop – too shady I thought. This is one of the times I’m glad to be proven wrong about something.

Aren’t they spectacular? I’ve been picking a fist full of lovely fresh beans twice a day all week. We’ve enjoyed them stir fried with garlic and Walla Walla Sweet onions, made into bean salad, and today as a key participant in chicken vegetable soup. I’m feeling quite the farmer. When will we begin to tire of beans every meal? Hard to tell but should that unlikely thing come to pass my freezer will fill up with bright beans to enjoy on dark winter days.

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