Magical neon beans #Repost@cheapgarlic
613. Scarlet runner #beans post 1 of 2. Picked these gorgeous pink & purple beans in huge green pods with @alexmatzke a couple weeks back before first frost.
Indigenous Americans famously paired pole beans with corn, because the beans provided the nutrition that the corn need. But what’s beautiful is that the beans need the corn too. They need something to climb up, and corn or sunflowers are great candidates. They are sisters. These beans struggled at first, when I threw the bean seed with sunflower and corn seed, only the beans came out.
So they did what climbing vines do when they have nothing to climb - send out shoots that spin around reaching for whatever they can get. They won’t produce leaves or really grow until they can find something to grab onto, so they grow just a few inches at a time, spinning and spinning forever.
Without a corn coming up, I built them a trellis instead, a very rudimentary tripod of sticks with twine, and as soon as they grabbed on, the plants got huge. They scaled the trellis in a few days and leapt from the top of it to the nearby fence, and soon completely covered 25 feet of fence with a hundred pods coming out.
So when I say do-nothing gardening, I’m not saying we do nothing at all. The farmer’s duty is to navigate the natural world and see what they can do to produce more food, but modern agriculture has just tried to do the same thing we’ve always done, just with a different set of ethics than we’ve had before. I did not water these, fertilize them, or weed around them. But I didn’t abandon them either. I planted them intentionally, scattering them in the area I wanted with the companion plants I wanted. I cut back and then suppressed the surrounding plants with straw and leaves. And when I saw the plant struggling, I adapted, but while having the health of these plants, their plant friends, the future plants, and the world at large kept in mind.
But like my potatoes, (post 608) I waited a little too long to harvest and so many of the beans dried up, the green ones could be eaten fresh, frozen, or canned, and the dry ones were shelled for seed and dry beans, which I’ll follow