Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Bean Picking Time Again....

We had planned to pick our first harvest of green beans on Saturday.  We have two rows of bush beans, and two rows of 1/2 runners.  Every year when we plant, without fail, I say, "Let's plant some bush beans.  I really like to pick bush beans and they put on so well."  Every year.  And every year, after I've picked till the small of my back is screaming and my hamstrings are so tight they could play banjo in a bluegrass group, I say, "Let's do all 1/2 runners next year."....   Don't ask me why....I can't answer.  Perhaps I am a glutton for punishment??

Anyway, so Saturday morning, Darren had to work.  Hmmmm....funny how that worked out that way...  Okay, okay, I'm just kidding...  I know he *really* had to.  :)   So, I waited till about 10 am to start picking...because I am not a morning person...I like to piddle around in the morning... drink some cappuccino with creamer.... play on the computer... but once I get started, I'm good to go, make no mistake. 

Having had my cappuccino, I made my way outside, energized, and ready to pick.  I decided to start with the bush beans....do those while I was fresh and save the 1/2 runners for when I knew my back would be hurting.  As I began picking beans on the first row (which are 50 some feet long), I was in high spirits.  Isaac was "helping" me.  The questions flew out of his mouth like the bees buzzing by my head..... "Mom, what are you doing?"  "Mom, where is a bean?"  "Mom, where's my bucket?"  "Mom, what can I do?"  and from the opposite end of the row, "Mom!  I can't get to you!"  "Mom!  Will you get me?"  Finally, he got lost somewhere on the other side of the 1/2 runners tangled up in an okra plant that was enveloped in a pumpkin vine....  he decided to just stand still, cry, and wait to be rescued from the clutches of the garden plants. After this, he decided to go in the house and I got down to business.  If you've never picked beans before, especially the bush variety, you cannot totally appreciate the way the small of my back was starting to scream and burn in protest by the end of the row...seriously.  The plants were practically lying on the ground, so in order to pick them, you are pretty much standing on your head.   It was starting to really heat up outside too... not that I mind heat...no sirree...  as a matter of fact, I purposely waited a bit to start because I figured if you have to work in the garden and sweat anyway, shouldn't you get that added benefit of a tan??  :)

I was in such high spirits in the beginning of that first row...  I was answering Isaac's questions, laughing...  you know...just enjoying life in general and my time in the garden.  After about 75 ft... (meaning I was in the middle of the second row for those of you who struggle with math as I do...), my good mood evaporated with the rising sun...   Trouble was, my hamstrings were all knotty....and my back was hurting...  :D ....  so, Jacob comes outside asking for lunch... HELLO?!?!?!  Can't anyone see that mom is out in the garden working??  LOL.....   I managed to finish the second row of bush beans ...  I may have sat down and picked a time or two.... maybe....I'm not admitting anything for certain.  I say "picked"....let me fill you in on a little something about Tenderette bush beans, okay??  Those dang beans hold on to the plant for dear life.  I am not kidding.  Other beans ...like the 1/2 runners...you pick...you just gently pluck and it comes off in your hand.  Not the Tenderettes.  You grasp, you pluck...and then you pull...and then sometimes the plant comes up ...Well, maybe I did that one or two times on purpose...Oops!  Guess I won't be able to pick any more beans from *that* plant....  :D

Anyway, I picked about 12 gallons of beans from those first two rows and decided to come in and fix the kids lunch.  Here's a picture of the first 12 gallons:

 Darren came home and we went outside and proceeded to pick beans from the two remaining rows of green beans...the Mountaineer 1/2 runners... which are soooo much easier to pick.  :)  We got a total of 8 gallons from those...which you can see here:

Wow!  Guess what we spent the rest of the weekend doing?  You guessed it!  We sat around and drank sweet tea and watched movies.....Yeah, okay...really, we snapped, strung, and canned 49 quarts of green beans.  28 of those were regular and 21 were dilly beans.

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