Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Variations on a bean

Dry beans, astonishingly enough, don't all ripen at once. I've been grabbing the pods as they dry and storing them in a paper bag. I'd sort of fluff the pods up from the bottom as I passed by, to keep them from mildewing.

"What am I doing in this bag?"

 It's an attempt at old-fashioned, foot-powered threshing.

Artistically done.

It's a two-footed crop.

Alas, this paper bag was no match for harvest stomping. We shifted to a different method.

The two of us sat on the floor and shelled beans and talked. I realized I remember doing something like this when I was very small with my grandmother. It was centering and quiet. We just chatted, compared the beans, talked about growing beans and anything else that came to mind. It was a lovely peaceful interlude.

Until my ankles started hurting from pressing against the floor.

Once we were all done, we lined up some of the more unusual beans we'd found. The purple one is one of about four or five that were shockingly purple. I don't know if they're a natural expression of these beans or some random pollen from a rogue purple bean patch, but I won't be planting those.

The white ones are just a hair lighter than the average bean, but still within range. What really surprised me were the dark, dark, dark ones. The one on the far right is almost dark-chocolate color. And the thrifty gardener in me celebrates any pod with five full beans! These beans are really big -- almost 2cm or so long.

One bag led to two full bowls of beans. There are many, many, many more beans drying outside. In fact, another one of the trellises fell down, so this afternoon's pastime will repeat.

What a nice way to spend some time, with delicious results.

Oh, I also made a few more pickles for the big kid. Just trying to keep up with the vines.


Daphne said...

I've been picking my dry beans too. I'll have to go out and pick more today as I see a lot of the pintos are dry now. Last week they were just starting.

Michelle said...

I've picked two pods from my "Stefani" beans and got one with the white beans with brown speckles and one with the purple beans. The purple came from a plant with scarlet flowers. I think there will be a lot of crossing going on in my runner beans this year, the hummingbirds love them and and I had 4 varieties blooming all at once. I wonder what the outcome would be of a cross between the giant Greek bean and one of yours...

Stefaneener said...

Daphne, I hope to find some time today, but it may have to wait.

Michelle, I was wondering about that. Seems I remember some scarlet flowers and I've seen plenty of hummers. . . The white ones are the "true" ones. Maybe a cross would be speckledy-big?

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Wowie. Andy Goldsworthy would be so envious of your bean arrangements.