Beans are a staple of Amish gardens this time of year as the summer heat begins to crank up. You can find half-runner bean plants in most Amish gardens where they get lots of sunlight. And if you are looking for a versatile and nutritious ingredient to add to your culinary repertoire, look no further than half-runners green beans! These vibrant and tender beans are not only packed with flavor but also offer a wide range of health benefits. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, cooking with half-runners green beans is a delightful experience that will leave your taste buds satisfied and your body nourished.
What are Half-Runner Green Beans?
Half-runners are a type of bean that is halfway between bush beans and pole beans. They have a more compact growth habit than pole beans, but they will still produce runners if not trellised. This makes them a good choice for gardeners who want the benefits of both bush beans and pole beans.
Half-runners are typically 3-5 feet tall, and they produce pods that are 4-6 inches long. They are stringless when picked young, and they have a good flavor. Half-runners are a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins.
Half-runners are a versatile type of bean that can be eaten fresh, frozen, or canned.
Here are some of the benefits of growing half-runners:
- They are a good space-saving option, as they do not need as much room to grow as pole beans.
- They are easy to harvest, as they can be picked from the ground or from a trellis.
- They are a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins.
- They have a good flavor.
If you are looking for a type of bean that is easy to grow and that is versatile in the kitchen, then half-runners are a good option.
📋 Half-Runners In Amish Kitchens and Carmon's Kitchen
And what better way to enjoy them than this amazingly seasoned and substantive dish whipped up by friend of Amish365, Carmon Hacker! This recipe is quite similar to green bean recipes found in Amish kitchens. Okay take it away, Carmon:
My maternal grandmother, born and bred on a farm in Wolfe County, Kentucky, used to serve these with cornbread and small, red potatoes covered in a cream sauce she made from scratch. And to top it all off, she placed a platter of sliced tomatoes and crisp green onions in the middle of the table. Some of the best summer meals from my childhood happened around her Formica and chrome kitchen table with this very menu! - Carmon Crystal Hacker
I love finding fresh green beans sold at Amish roadside stands or farmers market. They have the best flavor. Green bean harvesting is also a social occasion for many Amish women who visit while snapping the ends off green beans. I remember sitting with my grandmother as she would snap beans. Half-runners are amazing in soups and casseroles.
📜 Step-by-Step Half-Runner Green Beans and Ham
You can add some new potatoes if you wish, some pepper, garlic, kosher salt, or pink Himalayan salt.
Half-runners are full of nutrients and fiber. Let them simmer in a big pot or slow cooker. These beans are enjoyed all summer and fall until the last frost shuts them down.
🙋 FAQ Half-Runners
To grow half-runners, you should sow the seeds 1-2 inches deep and 2-4 inches apart.
They will germinate in 8-16 days, and they will start to produce beans in about 60 days. Half-runners can be grown in full sun, and they prefer well-drained soil.
Half-runner beans are called half-runners because they have a growth habit that is halfway between bush beans and pole beans. Bush beans have a very compact growth habit, while pole beans have a more sprawling growth habit. Half-runner beans fall somewhere in between, with vines that are typically 3-5 feet long.
Heavenly Half-Runner Green Beans With Ham
- 4 lbs. half-runner beans, strung and broken into about 1” pieces
- 12 oz. sliced salt pork
- 4 cups coarsely chopped, cooked ham
- 4 Tbsp. bacon grease Tbsp. bacon grease
- Salt to taste
- string and break up beans the day before, then place in a large cooker with lid to refrigerate overnight.
- Be thorough in stringing beans because the strings will never become tender during cooking. Also, if the bean pod is spotted or discolored, open it up and put the little beans in the pot rather than discarding the whole bean!
- The next day remove beans from refrigerator and cover about half-way up with water.
- Add bacon grease, salt pork, ham and salt. Cook on medium heat, with lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape, for about 5 hours.
- The beans should boil gently. Stir about every 15 minutes, while you do other tasks nearby.
- The idea is to boil away most of the liquid before enjoying the beans, so if they still have a profuse amount of water after 4 hours, remove lid to allow more liquid to evaporate,
- Serve and enjoy!