In home gardens, green beans are the third most commonly grown vegetable in the United States, outranked by tomatoes and peppers. They thrive in nearly all areas of the country and can produce an abundant crop in around 50 days. 

The green bean was domesticated in ancient times. It originates in Central and South America, but researchers cannot say exactly where. The green bean was introduced to the Mediterranean by Columbus when he returned from his second voyage to the New World in 1493. The bean spread into the eastern Mediterranean and was cultivated everywhere in Italy, Greece, and Turkey by the seventeenth century.

Fresh beans are classified into two categories: edible pod beans and shell beans. Green beans are the most popular edible pod bean in the United States, while the lima bean is the most common shell bean sold in the United States. Green beans are grown specifically to be eaten while still unripe and are called string beans, green beans, snap beans, or pole beans.

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