Beans. I don't really like beans all that much. String beans at Thanksgiving are great, with almond slices, just like mom used to make. But the rest of the year? Take them or leave them.
But, Mary, who helped envision this garden, said, "I like beans."
So we planted beans. Several rows of beans.
Then, about time to harvest the beans, Mary went off on a three-week trip to California to work on her masters degree and have fun "refreshing her soul."
She left me to refresh my soul staking, harvesting, washing, cutting, cooking, and freezing beans. Thanks, Mary. :)
But while she educates her mind about organizational dynamics I'm educating myself about gardening.
The main thing I've learned about beans is five-fold.
- Stake beans early. Ben came out this morning at my behest and made stakes to hold up the bushes. In another row we tied string to stakes and started training the vines. The bushes had already collapsed on each other and I was pulling beans out of tangled stems.
- Don't rely on the bush beans leaning against each other for support, and don't plant individual bean plants. They like company.
- Read the package.
- Don't plant carrots next to beans unless you wanted stunted carrots (that's my major lesson in this garden--three rows per bed next year, rather than four. I was greedy and suffering for it).
- Make sure you like beans before planting them.
- Make sure your gardening partner isn't on the beach in California at harvest.
Okay, I can't add, and I didn't do a lot right with the beans. Except for one thing.
This morning I harvested a sink-full of beans. Jacob, Mary's fourth oldest, called from Bellingham. He's there checking out Western University. I told him about the beans.
"Jacob, I don't even like beans."
He said, "Me either. Mom wanted the beans."
I have several choices.
- Give the beans away
- Feed them to the Mary's goats.
- Eat a few and make compost.
- Or, be a good friend and freeze Mary's beans for Thanksgiving dinner.
Take a guess which one it will be.