Thomas J. Story
Sweet, nutty-tasting green soybeans are popular low-calorie, high-protein snacks. They're available in grocery stores, but you just can't beat the taste of home-grown. 'Green Pearls', a new short-season variety from Burpee ( www.burpee.com or 800/888-1447), is easy to grow and prolific. Unlike most varieties, the 12- to 14-inch-tall plants don't flop or need staking.
Plant seeds in a sunny location after the soil is thoroughly warm. Set 1 inch deep and 3 inches apart. Keep the soil moist, but don't fertilize. Harvest when pods are plump but still green and fuzzy. Since the beans ripen all at once, you can pull up the entire plant. To enjoy, boil pods in lightly salted water for about 10 minutes and pop open shells like English peas.