Bean Bush Cannelini by Renee's Garden
Bush Beans: Heirloom Cannellini
A real kitchen garden favorite, heirloom Cannellini beans are the classic variety to use in making a delectable minestrone soup. The plump white beans have a real “melt in your mouth” texture that can’t be beat for rich, meaty flavor in satisfying soups, stews, salads or in tasty standalone bean dishes.
The tall vigorous plants always produce heavy pod sets and the handsome dry beans shell out easily. Cannellini beans are an excellent source of dietary protein and fiber.
START SEEDS OUTDOORS
Don’t plant too early; cold conditions prevent good bean germination. In late spring, when nights are securely above 55°F (13°C), sow in fertile soil in full sun. Erect strong stakes or trellis to support vines. Plant seeds 1 inch deep and 4 inches apart along a trellis or fence. For tripods, sow 4 to 6 seeds about 4 in. from each pole, then thin seedlings to 3 best plants per pole.
If first sowing comes up unevenly, replant right away; new seedlings catch up quickly. Bean seedlings are tempting treats to birds; watch carefully and protect with netting if necessary.
HARVEST AND USE
See harvesting video link below! When the beans are hard and smooth inside dry and leathery pods, harvest the whole crop at once, or, if frost or excessive rain threatens, pull entire plants and finish drying in a sheltered spot. Shell out the completely dry beans by hand or put whole pods in a pillowcase and whack it on the ground to “spill the beans” from pods. Put cleaned, shelled beans in freezer for 3 to 4 days to eliminate any insects, then store in glass jars in a cool dry place.
Note: freshly grown dry beans will cook faster than store bought ones. Soak overnight first, then cook up with a bay leaf, garlic and savory herbs.