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Virginia Farm Flavors: Green Beans

Food is so much more than just food. It’s community, it’s love, it’s often even a time capsule, holding on to memories of the past. This is especially true for a few food items and recipes in particular. Most of us probably have memories of shucking corn with a beloved grandparent in an effort to help with the dinner chores or picking berries with friends. Food and sharing meals help us bond with those around us and create memories for years to come. One such food item is often garden-fresh green beans.

If you grew up with a garden or around friends and family with a garden, you probably have great memories of sharing green beans, fresh from the backyard. You may even have a few not-so-fond memories. When I was little I would hide under the kitchen table so I wouldn’t have to eat my green beans. But that was a long time ago and those green beans were from a can - which are without a doubt a bean of another type. Then, when I was a bit older, I started helping my grandpa out in his garden, and afterward, we’d have Sunday dinner together. This is when I got to try a real green bean. And really, there is no comparison.

Green beans always have a place at the table for southern dinners. Unfortunately, they’re all too often over-cooked and/or under-loved. But this can all be remedied when you’re preparing them straight from the garden with love and care. Did you know, it can take about 3 hours at a reasonable pace to pick roughly 25 lbs of green beans? We timed it! This may be why we feel so much love and care for these tasty little legumes. They take a lot of attention and resources out in the field and we can’t wait to get them to your dinner tables. They’re also of particular cultural importance on southern dinner tables. In conventional factory farming culture, fresh green beans often get left behind. Their plants take up a lot of bed space and they have to be handpicked every few days (and sometimes every day). The reason green beans manage to hold a place even in commercial farming is simple: cultural identity and traditions.

We’re proud of all the food we grow here at Woodside. But right now we’re especially excited to put fresh, delicious green beans on your family dinner tables. There’s always the traditional southern way to cook green beans, simmered in broth with bacon, but we’d love to hear how you like to cook your green beans for your families!

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