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Monday, 22 July 2013

Fresh Beans

   One of the top reasons I plant a vegetable garden, small as it is, is because of fresh beans.  If you have ever eaten fresh beans, you will know that none of the green (or yellow) beans offered by the grocery store can ever measure up.  Frozen beans usually have that waterlogged quality when cooked, canned beans are often tinny and over-salted, and supermarket “fresh beans” may have come from as far away as Italy or Egypt, depending on the season of the year.

   When I pick beans my family has planted myself, I think about my Opa.  When I was growing up, the first beans were often harvested around his birthday of July 30th.  My Opa was the reason my parents had a garden to begin with.  He had been a market gardener for decades in the Netherlands before he came to Canada in his 52nd year.  The farm my Opa bought a couple of years later and where I later grew up had a sizable garden plot to the west of the long driveway.  When my parents got married and my Opa and Oma relocated to a mobile home at another corner of the farm, my Opa continued to care for this piece of ground so that it yielded bushels of potatoes, heads of romaine lettuce and oodles of beans.  His presence during my childhood was something I took for granted.

   Although he has been gone for 20 years, I continue to be influenced by the values he lived.  Another story about my Opa can be found here.  Expect another story about him next time…

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