Three Kinds Of Beans

We don’t grow acres of beans, but we do grow enough to get us through the winter. Most often, we plant three types of beans for storage…Vermont Cranberry, Black Beans, and Adzuki Beans. The black beans were pulled a couple of weeks ago, their leaves had dropped and the beans themselves were fairly hard. I pulled the entire row, lashed together bundles of plant and pod and hung them in the greenhouse for further drying.
At the end of the day, we’ve been lighting a small campfire and sitting out to enjoy the evening, often having dinner by firelight. We hardly ever do this during the middle of summer, we’re so busy and tired from the day’s pace that we come inside after dark, eat, and flop into bed. Sitting by the fire, last night along with our friend Jack, who tells good stories, I shucked beans and listened to Jack talk about his travels through Europe and about growing up here in Maine in the fifties.
If we grew fields of beans we’d need a bean thresher, doing this task by hand would then be pretty impractical. Growing just enough for home use makes it possible to thresh beans by hand (preferably by a campfire, ha!), perhaps a bit tedious and time consuming but something I enjoy doing. The next batch of beans are not quite ready, we’ll leave them to dry on the vines for a while longer. Once they’re harvested, they can hang in the greenhouse until we can get to them ( before Christmas, I hope!).
The gardens here are slowly winding down. However, the broccoli is still producing lots of side shoots, the chard is tall and handsome, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and leeks are waiting to be harvested, and there are still tomatoes and peppers in the hoop house to be gathered.The winter squash is all laid out on tables curing for winter storage. A few tender late planted greens continue to provide for fresh salads and sauteing. Even now, as the weather turns and we begin preparing for those long (delightful) winter months, there continues to be plenty. Very thankful, we are. Very thankful.

18 comments on “Three Kinds Of Beans

  1. A perfect pastime for sitting by a campfire! I love outdoor fires this time of year and always try to get my clothes full of that smell of woodsmoke before winter comes . . .

  2. Ah, memories of placing our dried beans in a burlap bag and beating them on the basement floor. Beautiful pea and yellow eye beans. Thirty years ago … good life. 💜

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  3. Yes, a perfect pastime for sitting by a campfire. Brings back a similar memory about getting green beans ready for my mother to can. We’d all gather on our little screened side porch with the swing and snap, snap, snap until the job was done. Something so satisfying about getting food ready for winter.

    • Hi Gearoid! Hope that wicked storm did not do too much damage…wow! Thanks for the note and I’ll be seeing you all soon! Can’t wait ti see all the work done on the farm in Glenbeigh! best to you, Gearoid!

  4. How interesting, the way your farming work is defined by the seasons. The campfires sound idyllic! Here too, the seasons define our activities, but as we don’t have a severe winter, we don’t have such a need to preserve things. As a result there’s a lot of waste, especially of vegetables. Farmers around us think nothing of dumping a whole crop of tomatoes, for instance, if the market price falls. I plan to work out low-cost, easy ways of using such surplus, which will not only serve the farmers’ domestic needs, but also get them some income. It’s most difficult part is to first convert them to organic farming!

    • I hope the food waste dwindles, you are on a good and noble track…converting old ways of thinking to a healthier approach ( organic) and finding ways to use surplus food! here farmers allow for folks to come and ‘glean’ the surplus out of their fields…lots of organizations take advantage of this offering to help feed large groups of people who may not have access to healthy food. Good luck and my very best to you, I’ll surly keep checking your blog as well!!

  5. Shelling beans by the fire sounds like a wonderful way to end the day. With this prolonged warm spell, our gardens are still producing eggplant and peppers!

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