The Mystery of the Missing Beans

I know the title of this post sounds like something out of Nancy Drew…but the following is fact and not fiction.

My beans are missing!  It appears that something is getting to them before me…getting to them before they actually grow much at all.  Very few are growing to full size.  Something must be eating them, but what?

The Mystery of the Missing Beans

The Mystery of the Missing Beans

If you look carefully at the photo above you’ll see the remnanants of tiny stems near the flowers where little beans should be hanging…but they aren’t.  Earlier this summer, a few beetles were eating the leaves but the beetles are pretty much gone.  I don’t see any other insects or signs of insects on the beans.  I’ve researched this on the internet but can’t find anyone who reports having a similar problem. 

And the few beans that do make it are weird.  I bought Scarlet Runner beans because I liked the idea of red flowers and thought the hummingbirds would be attracted to them…and they are!  (Maybe those little rascal hummingbirds are eating my beans?)   But the bean pods are fuzzy and look leathery.

Fuzzy Beans

Fuzzy Beans

I was sceptical about actually eating them (the whole two that I picked) and searched the internet to make certain that they actually were edible and not just ornamental.  Supposedly they were edible, so I blanched my two five inch beans in water for a couple of minutes and included them in a nicoise salad.  And to my surprise they were tender and flavorful!  I’ve got another four or so (whoopee!) that should be ready to pick tomorrow.  Can’t wait!

And what do you do with one measly banana?  One really ripe measly banana.

One Really Ripe Banana

One Really Ripe Banana

For me, there is a relatively short window of eating opportunity with bananas.  They have to be at a certain point of perfection…not too green and not too ripe.  I had one banana left from a bunch that was just past that point of perfection.  Most recipes call for two bananas or more.  So I searched recipes and ended up improvising and the end result wasn’t too bad.  Surprisingly, the flavor was more banana and very little peanut butter.

Peanut Butter and Banana Bars

1 ripe banana
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 egg
1/3 cup dark  brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal (either quick or old fashioned)
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease an 8 inch baking pan.

Mash banana and add peanut butter (I used Teddie’s Unsalted Super Chunk), yogurt and egg.  Blend together and add dark brown sugar and mix until well combined.  Add oatmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and vanilla and mix well.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned and toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan for about 10-15 minutes, cut into bars and remove from pan.

Peanut Butter and Banana Bars

Peanut Butter and Banana Bars

Unlike my beans, my begonias are doing well.  I have one old huge begonia that I move outside in the summer.  Cuttings from this begonia have started many other begonia plants that I have inside the house.

Begonia

Begonia

I bought this original begonia years ago at Logee’s Greenhouses in Killingly, Connecticut.  The first time I went to Logee’s was on a dreary cold gray day in early winter.  The drive through the eastern Connecticut hills (so-called the “quiet corner” of Connecticut by the  tourism office) was uninspiring and unappealing for some reason that day.

I found my way to Logee’s, walked through the small sales office, descended into the greenhouses and found myself in another world.  The air was warm, moist and fragrant.  Tropical plants were visible as far as the eye could see.  Some of these plants were huge and had exotic flowers.  What an amazing place.  To go from that cold gray day outside into this lush green paradise was incredible.

The following little bit of history was taken from Logee’s website https://www.logees.com/history.asp

“Logee’s Greenhouses was started by William D. Logee in 1892 in Danielson, Connecticut. He started as a cut flower business and soon became interested in tropical and unusual plants. In 1900, he bought a small Ponderosa Lemon tree from a grower in Philadelphia. It was known as the “American Wonder Lemon” due to the size of the fruit, which could get as large as 5 pounds. The tree was a must for the Logee collection. It was shipped via train, then picked up by horse and buggy and directly planted into the ground in the original greenhouse. The same tree in the same greenhouse (appropriately called the Lemon Tree House) still stands today, and is reliably producing 5-pound lemons every year. Hundreds of thousands of propagations have been harvested from this original tree.

“William’s eldest son, Ernest Logee, became interested in horticulture and turned his attention to growing tropical plants in containers, making these plants accessible to any one living anywhere. His interests centered around the unusual form of Begonias. He hybridized begonias for Logee’s and was one of the original founders of the American Begonia Society, creating the Buxton Branch in Massachusetts. He was drawn to Semperflorens as well as Rex begonias. He hybridized his own begonia and named them the Mother Goose Series. Examples of his hybridized begonias are Lucy Locket, Pied Piper, Goldie Locks, Mother Goose and Pistachio. Periodically, we bring his Begonias back into production. Under the direction of Ernest Logee, Logee’s at one time grew over 400 varieties of begonias. Ernest Logee died as a young man when he fell from a tree he was pruning. When his younger sister, Joy Logee went to his funeral, she met her future husband Ernest Martin who was also a horticulturist and member of the Begonia Society.

“After William Logee’s passing in 1952, Joy Logee Martin and Ernest Martin became Logee’s Greenhouses second-generation owners. Joy turned her attention to scented geraniums and herbs and also kept her brother’s legacy of Begonias alive and well. They continued to grow Angel-wing, or Fibrous begonias, Tuberous begonias, Rex begonias and Rhizomatous begonias. Logee’s in the mid- 1900’s became well-known as a supplier of begonias, scented geraniums, gesneriads, herbs, tropicals and house plants of the unusual and other unusual tropical plants.”

Logee’s also has a WordPress blog:  http://logeesblog.wordpress.com/

Make sure to read the July 1, 2013 post “Logee’s Ponderosa Lemon Soap” on their blog.  It sounds divine!

Graycie continues to be doing well, thankfully.

And that’s the way it is, Sunday, August 18, 2013. 

If anyone has any ideas about what’s happening with my  beans, I’d love to here from you.

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One thought on “The Mystery of the Missing Beans

  1. KerryCan

    Your banana solution worked out better than mine! I put two overripe bananas, and some other assorted fruit in a bowl, outside on the deck because I couldn’t take the fruit flies anymore. And forgot about them. The next morning the deck looked like a compost heap–I guess the raccoons loved it! Cool story about Logee’s!

    Reply

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