I had no idea that so much time had passed. I shall call it 'busy', even though I don't like that word much. It's been a great kind of 'busy' though. Harvesting peas, strawberries, lettuce, radishes, berries, peaches, beans, lots and lots of beans, zucchini, cucumbers by the basket and then tomatoes. I had picked some green peppers and jalapenos and the occasional eggplant. We also harvested a ton of pinto beans. When you begin to harvest, you get to eat fresh. Very, very fresh. There is no fresh like the fresh of eating while you pick. I call it "eating sunshine". The warmth of the sun is still in the fruit. The life has not waned one bit as I bite into the bean. Bean juice quenching my thirst. No need for a canteen in this garden. Tomatoes with the sunshine still pulsating through every cell. A moment of refreshment in the warmth of the garden.
That is not the end of it. I lugged baskets full of produce back to the house sometimes sending back to the garden more baskets to
fill as I picked more and more food. Once back to the house I was tired and looked at what I had brought in. This is not the end of it. Some produce can sit on the floor for a day or two. Some must be refrigerated. It all has to be dealt with soon to preserve that freshness. Any way tomorrow or the next day I will be hauling that much or more back from the garden again. The harvest doesn't stop and wait for you to deal with what you already harvested. No. The garden is a huge growing machine.
There are piles of green beans, delicious cucumbers, bushels of tomatoes, bags of shelling beans, arms full of herbs. Did I mention the piles of green beans? All to eat or preserve as quickly as possible.
The wonderful saying "You can't reap a harvest unless you plant seeds." is so true. The more seeds you plant the more you can hope to harvest. Also the busier you will be. Hahaha
We froze green beans until we had nearly filled the freezer. I put one load in the dehydrator and we even pickled a batch. We gave beans away and tried to sell them at a local market. In years past our beans had a lot of beetle bites and didn't look very nice, but this year they looked wonderful. Mark sprayed lime on the ground early and again at the beginning of summer. I also saw a great many toads.
I was trying to decide when to stop harvesting the beans. When is enough, enough. I picked beans for a dear lady down the road. She is in her nineties and doesn't look a day over 70. But she doesn't garden anymore and was thrilled that I would give her the beans. Late for supper one evening and toting two very large baskets of beans and cucumbers and heading out to get a second load my husband gave me this look. It was the look that says I'm 'doing something to him'. I was hoping for a more 'proud of me'
kind of look. I decided that it was now 'enough'.
I thought about putting a sign out but then I would have to pick more beans. If you have never picked beans you may not appreciate that thought. Then a friend came over and picked beans for herself and another family. I was relieved that I didn't have to put up a 'U-Pick Beans sign'. Then just like that the beans were over for the year.
I wondered what the nutritional value of green beans is, being that we may be eating a whole lot of them this winter. I feel especially thankful for the abundance. The small price of the seeds and the regular workout in the bean patch and such a huge return in produce. It is mind-blowing.
I looked up green beans on a website: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2341/2 . Here it says that green beans are a wonderful food, loaded with great vitamins and minerals. "Good source of protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper. Vitamins A, C and K. Folate and Manganese." Wow.
Sounds like great, virtually free, packed in there nutrition to me.
Now I feel very lucky to have so many green beans. I have a lot of other stuff preserved for the colder months too.