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Bringing in the beans

On the kitchen table today: the first of the dry Sonoran White Tepary Bean pods, grown for the Native Seed Search seed bank.

I have been warned that they dehisce - burst open scattering beans - as the pods dry. Because I need to return between 150 and 350 beans to the seed bank, I am watching these drying pods closely so I don’t lose seed.


To be honest: some of this section of tepary bean plants might have had their season’s end accelerated as a result of becoming collateral damage in my war on squash beetles who are feasting on the gem squash and Madhu Ras melon vines alongside this tepary patch.

I stupidly followed some amateur internet advice and sprayed with what I thought was Dawn dish soap, found under the sink in the little adobe casita in 2015. Whatever that blue soapy substance in the bottle was, it didn’t kill the squash beetles very well, but was super effective at killing the vines. I was just beginning to enjoy gem squash and melons too.

Lesson learned. Next year: hand to hand combat with the pesky critters. I’m just going to have to get over not wanting to touch these foul, plant-life-force-sucking, insects. A pox on squash bugs!

I am, however trying not to let the abject disaster with the vines and squash bugs get me down. I am not short of food to harvest from the garden. Lab lab purpureus (Hyacinth beans) and green beans brought in today, went into a spicy, garlicky, eggplant, sweet pepper, okra and lentil dish for my main meal.

The beautiful Nguni cowhide, speckled Christmas Lima beans, cowpeas and mysterious, nameless, long, slender podded, brown speckled beans, who volunteered in the outback, will be squirreled away in jars for the winter pantry.


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