A Belated Happy New Year to All!

January 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm (food, Gardening) (, , , , , )

A favorite Southern culinary tradition is the eating of collards and black-eyed peas for luck in the New Year.  We ate our Orca beans instead.  Yes, this was a New Year’s meal over six months in the making…  (We recently cooked up some pinto beans that we grew and dried two years ago.  Not surprisingly, the older beans took a lot longer to soften; despite soaking them overnight and simmering them on the stove for two hours, I still found a crunchy bean or two in my chili.)

Beautifully colored beans grown from West Coast Seeds seed.

These beans, simmered low and slow with pancetta and onions in Christmas turkey broth did us proud on New Year’s Day.  But, as creamy and delicious as they were, we don’t plan to grow them again next summer.  In no way did they disappoint; our concern is only for the limited garden space we have.

The Orca bean is a bush-type plant, as opposed to a pole bean.  Pole beans, or runner beans, are well-suited to a tight urban garden because they can be trellised and grown vertically, thereby saving ground space.  We ended up with a total of one and one half cups of dry Orca beans and their plants grew on a total of about ten square feet of garden.  Next year we’re going to try other pole beans besides Scarlett Runners and maybe save bush beans for a future when we have more ground space.



  1. Deb said,

    Beatiful bean picture. Too bad they take so much of your precious garden space. How did Henry like the beans?

    • kelseywood said,

      He had a watered-down, mashed-up serving that he ate with gusto–as he eats most everything I give him!

  2. dreamstreamr said,

    Happy New Year to y’all too. Thought of you today when I came across a post about urban composting — you may enjoy both the story and the potential applications for some of your readers.


    • kelseywood said,

      Thanks for the link–and good timing, as I was just about to write a post about my adventures so far with vermi-composting!

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