Green beans belong to the Fabaceae family and are essentially the unripe fruit and protective pods of various cultivars. They are divided into two main types: bush beans, which grow close to the ground, and pole beans, which climb supports. Their bright green hue and crisp texture are indicators of freshness. Adaptable to various climates, green beans have flourished in Alberta's diverse agricultural zones, from small family gardens to larger commercial farms.


The cultivation of beans traces back thousands of years, with origins spanning from the Americas to parts of Asia. A member of the sacred Three Sisters (the other Sisters being corn & squash), this crop was of great importance to many Indigenous nations across North, Central, and South America.

Their introduction to Alberta's agricultural scene aligns with the broader history of crop diversification and the province's evolving food culture. Over the years, as Alberta's farming community grew and embraced both traditional and innovative practices, green beans became a staple crop, celebrated for their yield, versatility, and nutritional value.

Ways To Cook

Green beans are so diverse in culinary applications, adapting to a wide range of flavours and preparations. In Alberta's kitchens, they might be simply steamed or blanched, then seasoned with a drizzle of butter and a sprinkle of salt. For a more hearty approach, they can be sautéed with garlic, almonds, or even mixed with wild mushrooms to capture foraged flavours. Beans are also a star in casseroles, salads, and pickling jars.

As the province's culinary scene leans more towards farm-to-table dining, fresh green beans often grace the plates of local restaurants, especially during the summer months, reflecting Alberta's agricultural abundance and culinary creativity.

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