Ah the wonderful process of photosynthesis. Without it, we wouldn’t be here today. Nothing living would be here. The earth would be just another rock with barren and a non-solar powered landscape. Like many gardeners, I have been basking in the bounty produced by this chemical wonder. In fact, I have finding that many of the things in the garden are growing a bit more intensely than I had anticipated. (see: Nasturtiums Will Take Over Your Garden)
August has been the month of beans.
I first enjoyed young and tender great northern beans. The ones that did not get gobbled up while they were still stringless
Then the Kentucky Wonders came in.
The baby Lima beans are just starting to produce pods. They had a rough start because the potato plants completely crowded them out.
I harvested the black beans last week.
At first I thought I would be disappointed in the harvest, but I harvested enough black beans for 3 meals for 2 people from 32 plants in an 8sqft/.75m2 space. I also have enough leftover beans/seeds for next years plants. I am unsure if this is a good harvest because I did not harvest the beans in regular intervals. I let them flower, produce pods and then dry on the plant. However, I have always heard that beans should be regularly picked to encourage more flower production. I tried the young beans, but they did not really taste very good and I have little use for undeveloped seed pods. So, I may have hindered my harvest. At least I the produced pretty purple flowers for about 3 weeks..
All in all the beans taste like green mouth magic. Every time I walked by the bean bed, I eat a handful. I can really taste the difference between the beans I eat from the stalk and the ones from the market. I feel a bit guilty admitting it, but sometimes I can’t actually taste the difference between farm/garden fresh and supermarket. Beans are a distinct exception. They will be grown again (unlike peas – too much work for my taste).
Fun Fact: the roots of beans contain enzymes that fix nitrogen from the air. This makes them the perfect companion plant for heavy feeding plants. Corn is a classic example.