Heirloom Green Beans are easy to grow and wonderful to eat! Green Beans like warm weather, but do fine at 60-70 degrees
also. They can be planted several times during the season. They are one of the few vegetables that will germinate when the weather is very warm. We plant our last bean crop the first of August. We get a most welcome harvest the weeks before frost. Once in a while, when an early frost threatens, I cover them with a sheet or anything similar.
I prefer to pick the heirloom beans before the seeds are very developed. They are best when harvested before the pod begins to show expansion from the seeds. They are very tender at this stage. If you want your plants to continue producing longer, be very gentle with the plants. Do NOT just grab the bean and pull. My mother would never let others pick her beans until the
third picking. She said they were too rough on the plants.
I have learned to pick them without the stem. I leave the stem hang on the plant. This is easy to do. HOld the bean between your thumb and your index and third finger. Push with the thumb so the bean breaks just past the stem. Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty fast. I don't cut the other end of the heirloom bean. I figure
this is just undeveloped bean and there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating it. When I pick heirloom beans without the stem, I can simply take a handful, even them out at one end and cut them in around 1 1/2″ pieces. Then steam them until just tender crisp, or longer if you like.
You should get at least 3 pickings from your beans. Heirloom beans were always a very major part in our garden, now as well as when I was a child.