I’ve decided to start a new series of posts, called Saturday (occasionally Sunday) Spotlight (mainly because everyone loves alliteration don’t they?). Each post will highlight a specific variety of produce that I have grown and how it performed in my micro-climate (Melbourne’s Northern suburbs). If anyone else is interested in writing similar posts I will add a linky thingy, if not then I won’t be offended (provided you read mine of course….he, he, he).
Anyway to kick things off I thought I’d describe one of the best performing veg in my summer garden – Majestic Butter Beans.
Majestic Butter Beans are pretty well named, they are beans, buttery flavoured and occasionally they can be quite majestic. They are a bush bean that produces pods which are a lovely pale yellow. They are beany in flavour with a crisp, stringless texture. I find they eat well with butter and black pepper, as well as in all the dishes you would usually use green beans in. I often boil them and then combine with lightly sauteed tomatoes, garlic and black pepper.
In my experience the beans grow well if planted (in Melbourne) from October onwards, anything earlier and they are sluggish and don’t fruit any earlier than later sown plantings. For those outside of Melbourne our average temperature in October is about 20C/68F, average minimum is about 10C/50F. My garden doesn’t get frost.
The beans do well in partial shade and by that I mean about 5- 6 hours sun and the rest of the time in the shade.
They also grow well in pots provided the pot is pretty big and you don’t try and cram too many plants in. In terms of yield this year I have harvested about 1.5kg from four plants which I think is a pretty good return (and more than enough for my families needs).
Majestic Butter Beans do have their idiosyncrasies. Although I generally get straight beans the ones at the top of the plants can be quite curly. My parents who have also grown this variety have the same experience only more so. They rarely get the lovely long straight ones I get. Their garden is generally a little cooler, especially at night but the plants are in full sun. My suspicion is that it is the sun factor that curls them as it seems to be the beans at the tops of the plant (ie in the sun) that suffer most.
Do you have experience growing Majestic? Or perhaps you prefer another yellow variety. if so I would love to hear about it.