WHAT ARE BEANS?
Beans are used as a vegetable, but are botanically classed as a
fruit. When we eat snap beans we are eating both the pods and the
seeds. Snap beans can be green, yellow or purple, round or flat.
Some beans grow on low bushes while other varieties, such as pole
beans, will grow quite tall on support systems.
WHERE ARE BEANS PRODUCED IN BC?
Beans are mainly grown in the Lower Mainland, but there is some
production in the Okanagan Valley and on Vancouver Island.
HOW MANY BEANS DO WE PRODUCE?
BC produces about 4 million kilograms of beans. This many beans
would cover a football field to a depth of over 2m. Over 90% of
these beans are processed.
HOW ARE BEANS PRODUCED?
Snap beans are grown on bush plants or on climbing plants, called
pole beans. Pole beans can grow a lot of beans in a limited space.
Bean plants grow vertically up poles, strings or trellises. Most of
the beans grown commercially are the bush type because they can be
mechanically harvested. Beans are ready to be harvested 50 to 70
days after planting. Beans are picked as immature fruit, while the
pods are still smooth, slim and tender. Fresh beans should be picked
with the stems still on the beans; otherwise the open end will lose
moisture and begin to rot.
WHAT DO BEANS LOOK LIKE WHEN I USE IT?
Snap beans can be eaten fresh, or as canned or frozen vegetables.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE BEANS LEAVE THE FARM?
Beans for the fresh market are hand harvested and cooled before
being shipped to warehouses for distribution to supermarkets. Many
beans are sold direct from the farm through farm stands and U-Picks.
Beans for the processor are harvested by large machines which strip
the beans from the plant. The beans are dumped into trucks and
shipped to processing plants where they are destemmed, washed,
sized, blanched and frozen.
WHAT CHALLENGES DO BEAN PRODUCERS FACE?
As with other processing crops, BC growers and processors must
compete with large farms and processors in other parts of Canada and
the U.S. The crop quality must be very good and it must be grown
Beans are very susceptible to rots caused by several types of
fungi. Growers must manage their crops using crop rotation, careful
spacing of seeds, just the right amount of fertilizer and sometimes
apply fungicides to make sure their crop is free of rot.
WHO'S INVOLVED IN PRODUCING BEANS?
- Farm owner and manager
- Field workers
- Vegetable inspector
- Canning and freezing companies and their employees
- Producers of freezer containers and tin cans
- Fertilizer companies
- Equipment dealers
- Fuel companies
- Seed companies
- Processor fieldmen
¾ cup beans (83g)
||Calories from Fat 0
||% Daily Value*
|Total Fat 0g
|Saturated Fat 0g
|Total Carbohydrate 5g
|Dietary Fibre 3g
|Vitamin A 4%
||Vitamin C 10%
|*Percent Daily Values are based
on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Interesting Fact About Beans:
Snap beans used to be known as string beans. This name is no
longer used because plant breeders have bred bean pods without
strings making them much nicer to eat.
- Contacts and other resources:
- BC Vegetable Marketing
BCMAL - Field Vegetable Information
- InfoBasket: Your Portal to Agri-Food Information on the Internet