When Bobby, Terri and I were kids, one of the jobs we hated the most was picking beans. We’d have to hand-pick so many baskets of beans before we were allowed to play. There were machines available back then and today that picked ‘em automatically, but dad wouldn’t hear of it because the machines left the beans bruised with broken ends.
One time, eager to play, I filled the bottom of my basket with bean leaves. I think I was 9 years old. I covered the bean leaves with enough beans to fill the basket. Of course, it didn’t weigh out, so I got grounded. I never did that again.
You’d think I would hate beans now, but I love the summer season with beans, tomatoes and corn. Undoubtedly, I have a great appreciation for what it takes to harvest the 17 varieties of beans we hand-pick because of the difference in quality. Just imagine…it takes three men one hour to pick a pound of our tiniest variety, the Carmellini Bean™.
Check out all the varieties here
I still have a craving for beans the way grandma prepared them, simmered for hours with a ham hock, but I’ve learned to enjoy a simply seasoned al dente bean nowadays. Mixed beans are my favorite because of the variety of colors and textures, and they’re fun to experiment with. Try ‘em!