Sunday, October 2, 2016

Amounting to a hill of beans

Today was a gorgeous fall day in Seattle, though maybe a little warmer than most fall days tend to be. It was perfect weather for a long bike ride or a tramp through the woods. Naturally, we didn't do any of that. No, we got around to eating breakfast at nearly noon and then, after a visit to the Farmers Market, Scott settled in to putting a coat of paint on the garage doors while I raked leaves and did some tidying in the front 40.
Flowers, grapes, tomatoes, cucumber, dried beans, and raspberries!
 But such activities are not without their rewards. I can't speak for how Scott feels about the garage door, but I suspect we'll both be glad to have an extra coat of protection on it as the cold winter moves in, assuming we get a cold winter this year. (I've seen squirrels lately; do their tails seem extra bushy? I just can't say . . . .) You would think that finding a handful of fall raspberries would be the highlight of my hunter-gathering, and I've got to admit that was mighty sweet. I was also pleased, if confused, to find that the cucumbers have decided to get serious about flowering and fruiting and that the cosmos and marigolds continue to bloom up a storm.

 This year I've been oddly slack about some day-to-day harvesting; the scarlet runner beans I planted mostly for the flowers have gone largely uncollected--though the one time we french-cut and cooked some of the green beans up they were excellent. This means that a number of pods have been left to dry out on the vine. Today I brought them in and split them open. Opening the pods was maybe a little reminiscent of opening the reeds that you can use for mason bees but, having also investigated the leafcutter bee block today to find that it contained a dozen earwigs and nary a sign of bee cocoons, I've got to say the bean pods were more rewarding. The beans are beautiful! Looking at them I could see why you'd trade a cow for a handful of  them.

Scarlet runner dried beans
There are plenty of still-green pods on the vines that I hope will obligingly dry out as these did so that we have enough to use in soup or something this winter; this recipe for stewed runner beans with tomato looks pretty tempting.

1 comment:

  1. The beans were a delightful discovery. Though maybe we should've gone for a long bike ride. I'll bet the garage door could've waited a week.