Crop Talk, October 3: Week 18

The Great Bean

   You may have noticed the bean field across the road from the pumpkin patch.That's an ever-bearing bush bean which we planted in a second-year strawberry field after those plants had run through their cycle. We're picking these beans by hand because they're ever-bearing, and they just keep coming and coming. Nutritionists at the website World's Healthiest Foods have a lot to say about green beans, including:

   "Green beans ... have recently been shown to have impressive antioxidant capacity. Research comparing the overall antioxidant capacity of green beans to other foods in the pea and bean families (for example, snow peas or winged beans) has found green beans to come out on top, even though green beans are not always highest in their concentration of specific antioxidant nutrients like phenolic acids or vitamin C."

   "The strong carotenoid and flavonoid content of green beans also appears to give this vegetable some potentially unique anti-inflammatory benefits. For example, some very preliminary research in laboratory animals shows decreased activity of certain inflammation-related enzymes—lipoxygenases (LOX) and cyclooxygenases (COX)—following intake of bean extracts. Because type 2 diabetes is a health problem that is known to contain a basic component of chronic, unwanted inflammation, we are also not surprised to see some very preliminary research in the area of green bean intake, anti-inflammatory benefits, and prevention of type 2 diabetes."

   For more information about beans, including recipe suggestions, visit World's Healthiest Foods.   

Green Bean Potato Salad with Lemon-Soy Vinaigrette

   This vibrant and colorful side dish is sure to be a total show-stopper in any cookout, picnic, or potluck scenario--it's anything but your typical, creamy, mayo-based potato salad. Crisp, delicately sweet green beans pair up with tender, fluffy petite red potatoes for the base of this dynamic salad. The super simple lemony dressing is balanced by the salty kick of soy sauce, a touch of toastiness from sesame oil, and just a bit of heat from crushed red pepper. And the finishing touches put this recipe right over the top: mint leaves for a touch fresh herbaceousness and toasted almonds and sesame seeds for added nutty crunch. 


Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival

   Our pumpkin celebration continues this weekend, with pig races, P-Rex feedings, cider tastings, marshmallow roasting, pumpkin picking, apple picking, and visits with the Pumpkin Princess.

   This weekend we also welcome Tony M to the Barnyard Stage on all three days of Columbus Day weekend --  Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from noon to 4:00.  

Does Dirt Make You Happy?

By Anna Brones; From Modern Farmer

   There’s no denying that standing in the garden and picking your first summer tomato gives you a good feeling. Even in an urban environment a small pot of basil on the windowsill can brighten your day. But is there a scientific reason that getting our hands dirty makes us feel good?

   In 2007, Christopher Lowry, associate professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology and Center for Neuroscience at Universtiy of Colorado Boulder, and a team of researchers published an article in Neuroscience that had people wondering if dirt was the new Prozac. The study examined a specific soil bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae, and its potential role in the regulation of emotional behavior. In other words: did the bacteria have antidepressant qualities?

     Read More here.

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