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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.


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