Farm Update July 30, 2016

We just finished trellising the tomato plants. It was a marathon effort that needed over a half-mile of twine, applied about 10 feet at a time. We got behind on the trellising and the plants just exploded in growth with the monsoon humidity. After many person-hours (60?) we finally finished the job early this morning before we started harvesting.

The Italian flat beans are coming! Also known as Romano green beans, they are very tasty – delicious raw or cooked. We should have a few at the market this week and many more in the weeks to come.

Our eggplant are also blooming. They went in a bit late, but have started to put on many blooms.

One additional crop that is starting to come in is the okra. I saw the first flower yesterday as we were weeding that bed.

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Romano green beans
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New bed of Iitoi’s onions
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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.