Thursday, September 25, 2008

Second dry bean harvest

A week ago I pulled out the rest of the dry beans: the Black Coco variety, which grows well here and which makes good black bean soup. About 4 quarts from four rows, an average yield. I left them in longer than I should have, because a number of other things took priority; and when I pulled them out the pods had already started to mold and mildew from the September rains. But they were dry, and after drying them further last week I decided to thresh them, which I did today by the usual method, holding them by their stems a few at a time and banging them around inside a clean metal garbage can, then winnowing them by pouring them out of the can into the cap. The Black Coco shell easily, but the shells break off too easily from the vines, and the result is that many go into the can along with the beans, and they have to be gotten out by hand. The soybeans never came to term, and the rabbit was joined by deer a couple of weeks ago, so that many of the late crops are munched out for the first time in many years--the brussels sprouts, for instance. Tomatoes, eggplant and peppers are covered with agribon, and that keeps the deer out as well. Expecting a lot of rain this weekend, so I dug out almost all the rest of the potatoes. A small yield this year, as the three weeks without rain came at just the wrong time for them, when they were flowering and setting up. So they are small potatoes. The second crop of lettuce and spinach grows very slowly and it will be interesting to see if they size up sufficiently before the first hard freeze, which can come as early as October or as late as November.

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