“It’s bean a long time coming,” say organizers.
We want to see the vegetable of the year growing in gardens, in containers on front porches, in front of businesses, churches and in school gardens everywhere. We provide starter kits with free seeds, growing tips, project ideas and more to get you going. You provide the enthusiasm and ideas.
Then, join the conversation by sharing your ideas and experiences with us here, or on our Facebook page.
Free bean kits include:
Basic bean recipes – See our whole collection here
Almost everything you ever wanted to know about green beans, mostly courtesy Wikipedia.
Green beans, also known as string beans, or snap beans in the northeastern and western United States, are the unripe fruit and protective pods of various cultivars of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris).
They are distinguished from the many differing varieties of beans primarily grown for their dried seeds in that green beans are harvested and consumed with their enclosing pods, typically before the seeds inside have fully matured. This practice is analogous to the harvesting of unripened snow pea pods or sugar snap peas of the pea family of plants. Popular green bean cultivars have been selected especially for the fleshiness, flavor, or sweetness of their pods.
Haricots verts, French for “green beans” (also known as French beans, French green beans, French filet beans, or fine beans (British English)) is a variety of green beans that is longer, thinner, crisper, and more tender than “standard” green beans. It is different from the haricot bean, which is sold as a dried seed.
The term ‘Green Bean’ can also be used as an adjective to describe a person who is strange or unusual in some way. “Gazza was a good footballer, but a bit of a green bean.”
The Nutrition of Green Beans
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 131 kJ (31 kcal)
Carbohydrates 6.97 g
Dietary fiber 2.7 g
Fat 0.22 g
Protein 1.83 g
Vitamin A equiv. (4%) 35 μg
Thiamine (B1) (7%) 0.082 mg
Riboflavin (B2) (9%) 0.104 mg
Niacin (B3) (5%) 0.734 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) (5%) 0.225 mg
Vitamin B6 (11%) 0.141 mg
Folate (B9) (8%) 33 μg
Vitamin C (15%) 12.2 mg
Vitamin K (14%) 14.4 μg
Calcium (4%) 37 mg
Iron (8%) 1.03 mg
Magnesium (7%) 25 mg
Manganese (10%) 0.216 mg
Phosphorus (5%) 38 mg
Potassium (4%) 211 mg
Zinc (3%) 0.24 mg
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Green beans are eaten around the world, and are marketed canned, frozen, and fresh. Green beans are often steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or baked in casseroles. A dish with green beans popular throughout the United States, particularly at Thanksgiving, is green bean casserole, which consists of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French fried onions. For a selection of alternative recipes, see our collection here.
Some US restaurants serve green beans that are battered and fried, and Japanese restaurants in the US frequently serve green bean tempura. Green beans are also sold dried, and fried with vegetables such as carrots, corn, and peas.
Many but not all bean pods contain a “string”, a hard fibrous strand running the length of the pod. This is often removed before cooking, or may be made edible by cutting the pod into short segments. The first “stringless” bean was bred in 1894 by Calvin Keeney, called the “father of the stringless bean”, while working in Le Roy, New York.
Green beans are classified into two major groups, “bush” beans and “pole” beans.
Bush beans are short plants, growing to approximately 2 feet (61 cm) in height, without requiring supports. They generally reach maturity and produce all of their fruit in a relatively short period of time, then cease to produce. Gardeners may grow more than one crop of bush beans in a season.
Pole beans have a climbing habit and produce a twisting vine, which must be supported by trellises, cages, or other means.. Runner beans have a similar habit but are a different species of bean.
Over 130 varieties of green bean are known. Varieties specialized for use as green beans, selected for the succulence and flavor of their pods, are the ones usually grown in the home vegetable garden, and many varieties exist. Pod color can be green, purple, red, or streaked. Shapes range from thin “fillet” types to wide “romano” types and more common types in between.
The following varieties are among the most common and widely grown in the US. Closely related varieties are listed on the same line.
Bountiful, 50 days (green, heirloom)
rpee’s Stringless Green Pod, 50 days (green, heirloom)
Contender, 50 days (green)
Topcrop, 51 days (green), 1950 AAS winner
Red Swan, 55 days (red)
Blue Lake 274, 58 days (green)
Maxibel, 59 days (green fillet)
Roma II, 59 days (green romano)
Improved Commodore / Bush Kentucky Wonder, 60 days (green), 1945 AAS winner
Dragon’s Tongue, 60 days (streaked)
Jade / Jade II, 65 days (green)
Blue Lake, 60 days (green)
Fortex, 60 days (green fillet)
Kentucky Blue, 63 days (green), 1991 AAS winner
Old Homestead / Kentucky Wonder, 65 days (green, heirloom)
Rattlesnake, 72 days (streaked, heirloom)
Purple King, 75 days (purple)