We planted a fall garden in between the heat of the summer and our usual winter plantings (lettuce!!). The veggies that are recommended for that time in our zone were pretty limited so we only planted cucumbers and green beans. That was ok, though, since it gave us the room for several plants of each.
We wanted multiple cucumber plants so there would be plenty of chances for the flowers to be pollinated. James showed the boys how to pollinate by hand but after a while there were so many flowers that there were plenty of bees and butterflies and we were able to just let them go along. We have already picked nine big, delicious cucumbers!
We put bush beans in other half of our space. Those we planted from seed and James added some bamboo poles that he got free on a visit Boggy Creek Farms & Farmers Market. Something about the bamboo tied up with twine looks really appealing! The beans are producing like crazy too. This (below) is about a third of what we've harvested so far. The boys didn't like them at first because the surface is a little fuzzy/sticky. It feels a little velcro-ish straight off the vine. We thought that would just boil away but it didn't - instead you need to kind of scrub them and then they turn smooth, more like what you buy.
I tried cooking the green beans two ways. James wanted his boiled and I wanted mine roasted (this is about par for the course around here!). For the boiled, we just cut them into short lengths and cooked until tender. The did have a delicate flavor that was more green-bean-y than the store-bought. Mine were even better (so I say, anyway!). I blanched them and then put them under the broiler with olive oil, salt and Adams Reserve Kicked Up Chicken seasoning (bottle looks like this). Roasty and soooo delicious!
(And in case you are wondering how to please the kids, Zack liked the boiled and Sammy liked the roasted!)