Beans

We have a widespread frost warning tonight. While that might not hit us up here on the hill frost is a “better safe than sorry” event and so it’s time to take stock in the garden.

The sunflowers are quickly going to seed, which the chickadees and goldfinches adore:

birds love sunflowers

The beans, broccoli, bunching onions, and carrots are still going. All but the beans will survive a frost. I’m not pulling my carrots until the very end as they will sweeten up with a bit of freezing weather.

climbing beans

The squash and corn are flops. The corn flopped literally, and so I have only the wind to blame for that. The squash failed because I had a bumper crop of gray squash bugs. I don’t know if this was due to the warm winter, the fact that my squash were inside the fence and the chickens couldn’t get to them, or just plain bad luck. Any way I look at it this is a major disappointment since we’ve been growing most of our squash for several years now.

But the beans have done wonderfully. I have enough beans in my freezer for the whole winter. And once I got there I left the rest to go to seed.

I enjoy growing my own dried beans. I’m probably in the minority here given how few Americans buy even the dried beans at the store – what with canned beans being so cheap and so easy. I was in that group once. Then I got a little baggy of dried beans from my CSA one spring.

shelling beans

And my opinion of beans was transformed. They were so much more flavorful!* And so much prettier. And beans are so easy to grow.

dried bean jar

Shelling takes a bit of time. But it’s something I can do in front of the TV at night. And it’s not like the dried beans are going to go bad sitting in the pod or anything.

*Not surprisingly, this is like most other things grown in a small garden.

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4 responses to “Beans

  1. Not to rain on your parade or anything, but didn’t you accidentally rot 90% of your beans like, last fall?

    <3

    • You are correct! But this year I’m learning from my mistakes and the beans are all carefully spread out until they’re completely and utterly dry. Dry bean pods don’t rot the way semi dry bean pods stuffed into a bag will!

  2. I love growing dry beans! That said, we didn’t get any last year, since the pods rotted in all the wet, and we didn’t get any planted this year (though the sheep would have just eaten them anyway, even if we had planted them. Like the peas. Which we planted 3 times and still didn’t get any peas…) Anyway, no dried beans. Next year for sure!

    • Yeah, my beans rotted in the pods last year too. I grew climbing beans instead of bush beans for drying this year – and the it was so dry that it didn’t matter. Gardening is always a learning process.

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