To Harvest Green Beans

To Harvest Green Beans

Kneel on the ground, head bowed to the west. Fold your hands beneath the stalks as if cradling a newborn’s head. Lift up gently.

Sift through the stalks and concentrate. Being the same size and color of the stalks, the beans are tricksters when given the chance. Leave no stalk unturned.

To harvest beans is a lesson in choosing wisely. Like broccoli, when left on the stalk too long, the beans will turn to buds, and the plant will consider this a top priority, concentrating all its energy and nutrition into the cultivation of this future plant. Yet, plucking too early means cutting down the bounty of the next harvest. And so, it’s a lesson in balance, as well.

Cup your hand around a bean, finger-sized, and yank. Leave the smaller ones to develop. The biggest ones are ripe to share. This reminds me of—no; don’t let your mind wander. Focus on the harvest, don’t miss a bean. Get to the end of the row and round the corner. Sort through the stalks your companion just harvested from, as your companion does the same. Pluck a few more beans.

Reach the end and raise yourself up on two feet. Mix your harvest with your companion’s. Smile as you head over to sort out the slightly-chewed on casings underneath the head-cooling shelter of the shade.

This post was created by Hallie Hayes, an intern at SouthWinds Farm.

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