Sunday, September 7, 2008

First dry bean harvest

With tropical storm Hannah approaching, I wanted to make sure to pull out as many dry beans as had lost all or nearly all of their leaves. September's rains, usually from storms like this that slide northeast up the coast, cause the beans to fall over onto the ground and mold, which is another reason to plant early varieties. The Jacob's Cattle Gasless and the Light Red Kidney beans had lost all of their leaves, save a few plants that had a few left, and so on Friday I pulled them out, bunched them up, and put them in carts under cover in the barn. This morning as the rains continued and the wind blew, I hung them on strings in the loft. It was quite a good yield, particularly compared with two years ago when I planted dry beans in this garden. The buckwheat that grew there last year choked out the weeds, and the chicken manure that I worked into the soil at the beginning of the season gave the plants just enough nitrogen. I should lime the soil with wood ashes over the winter. The Black Coco dry beans had to stay in, for the storm last night and this morning that dumped four inches of rain here, causing minor flooding, with the wind blowing down some of the apples, particularly the Red Astrachan, and blowing a few shingles off the roof of the house as well.

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