October Beans Revisited

I didn’t really get the full jist of why JGL was so dang excited about these October Beans.  I mean, yea, they were fun to grow and all, but really, isn’t a bean a bean?

No, no it isn’t–and this is coming from the kid who honest to goodness hates beans.

They were actually edible.

And delicious.

And not super bean-like at all.

Well, see for yourself!

Don’t let the looks fool you–these beans were tender, creamy in texture, and full flavor.  They needed a little bacon in to cook with them (in my opinion), but we quickly remedied that with some ham from the freezer.

Worth all the time and effort to grow, dry and store?  100% Yes, Yes, Yes!


The Great October Bean Search

So I know I really shouldn’t pay attention to the analytics of this blog.  I mean, let’s get real–I get one hit a day and nine times out of ten it’s my mother.  BUT, every now and then someone searches October Beans and that someone clicks here.

I will admit–I got nothing about them other than I put them in the ground, they grew, I let Mr. Sun do his thing and dry them, and now they’re sitting in a can in the basement pantry just waiting for JGL to use them.  But here’s the bigger questions, October Bean Searchers–what question are you hoping to answer by Googling October Beans?

Being Nosy Rosy here, I’m just curious if we could help each other out by seeing what we know…we’d love to hear from you!

And the culinary holding pattern is over

Today was a great day.  I woke up before the alarm went off, made it downtown to the farmer’s market and coffee with one of my colleagues, picked up clean supplies for under $5, and made it home to get started on housework and gardening all before 9:30 am.

Good day?  GREAT day!

We were so fortunate today to get some additional helping hands in our good friend AG, and we were able to bust out some incredible weeding and staking today.  The majority of the tomato plants in the back forty have multiple tomatoes on them (although I found quite a few with blossom blight–any helpful tips out there for that?), and while weeding out the acorn squash and cucumbers I found several incredibly over ripe cucumbers that have been hiding away from us.  JGL also got a great surprised when we realized that the first batch of October Beans had successfully dried on the vine.

MR joined up later in the afternoon and we had quite the cooking lesson, tackling pork chops with a fresh peach chutney, a heirloom tomato salad, and saffron rice.  I love showing others how to create healthy, delicious meals, and I was thrilled to pieces that MR was willing to (and wanted to) listen to me drone on for forty-five minutes about peach seconds, heirloom tomato flavor and where vinegar comes from.  I think we might even get together again at some point to do more “lessons,” and I hope MR is as excited as I am to do that.

Good friends, good work, and good home grown food–can’t ask for much more than that for the Fourth of July!

The Beans Have Exploded!

After hanging the laundry out to dry this morning I meandered back to the garden to really look and check out and take in all that’s changed this week.  To my surprise, my cucumbers and squash have started to creep and spread, but the most surprising sight of all was seeing our burgundy and october beans standing at almost three inches tall. 

Not bad considering we just planted them last Saturday.

The weather this week has been ideal for growing–hot, sunny days paired with warm, rainy nights.  As I told JGL after dragging him out to the back forty, “It’s amazing what a difference this weather makes!”.

It’s wicked hot outside again today, so we’re taking it easy.  But as we settle in to watch the US Open, we want to make sure to send a big Happy Father’s Day to all the Daddies out there 🙂

Air Conditioning Wars

We have AC wars in the L household.  I’m always cold, JGL is always hot.  On the rare days I concede to actually turning the AC on, I’ll set the thermostat at 78, and somehow it will dip down to 76-77 when I’m not looking.  It’s a playful “war,” but one that will undoubtedly go on for the rest of our years together.

The paper described the heat of this weekend as being “oppressive,” and Little Miss I Never Go Anywhere Without a Sweater is actually hot, and thus the AC is on in the house.  Which I hate to admit, but I was eternally grateful for yesterday as we spend the better part of the morning ripping out the remaining pea plants, creating tomato cages from fencing, tilling up the new plots and planting more beans (burgundy and more october beans).

By the time we were done with all that work (add in a trip to Lowes since the tiller burnt out a spark plug), we were huffing and puffing and sweating so bad I thought for a minute it was anywhere between the years 2000-2003 and I was running around a blazing hot field hockey field, debating on whether or not I was going to throw up.  It wasn’t pretty.  At all.  Couple that with tube top gardening at its finest, and you had two of the classiest people in Amherst County right in our back yard.  But in the end, the garden is looking awesome–the Rutgers Tomatoes are filling out and if the weather stays hot we’ll hopefully have tomatoes on the table soon, silks are coming in on some of the corn, and the flower buds on the cucumbers and acorn squash are almost there in terms of opening up.  We’ll soon be drowning in produce, and I cannot wait!

Pair that with the incredible rain that started 15 minutes after we finished up, and we’re in good business right now.

Until we start messing with the AC controller again 😉

And we’re back

I know, I know, it’s been a long hiatus since our last update.  In my defence, I was gone for two weeks, and apparently it rained the good majority of the time I was gone.  But this weekend we tackled the yard with a vengeance, thanks to the added deadline of my folks coming to visit at the end of May (which I’m incredibly excited about!).  There’s still lots to be done today, so I’m making this quick, but here’s the list of things accomplished this weekend:

  • One more truck load of mulch procured and spread on the back gardens and then shared amongst the front gardens.
  • Side “kitchen” garden weeded out, re-edged, and mulched; rogue tomato plants thinned, last of the ‘maters went in there.
  • Blueberry bushes weeded and mulched…we have a few berries poking through!
  • Veggie garden weeded; grass clippings spread on the paths; weed-eated along the edges.
  • Cauliflower, cucumbers, acorn squash, one more row of October beans, four more rows of corn, and three rows of pole beans put in the ground!

In addition to that we’ve decided to move forth with line drying all our stuff (in addition to the added benefit of helping the environment, I’m really hoping this helps my wallet this summer!), and I made the executive decision to start making all the household cleaners.  I know it has nothing to do with gardening, but we’ll let you know how all this goes as well 🙂

The photo album is updated so be sure to check it out, and we’ll update more soon!

Easter Weekend

Both JGL and I are beat.  We’ve spent most of the day outside, and I’m pretty sure I have a sunburn on my back and tan lines (Forgive me, ELF!  I’ll fix them before your wedding!!).

It feels great 🙂

We took a TON of pictures today, so rather than post them all here, we’ve put them up on Facebook.  You can still access them even if you don’t have a FB account by clicking here to see the public photo album.  I’ve tried to narrate them as we’ve gone along so you all can follow what we’re documenting. 

It’s been a stunning few days, compared to last weekend.  It’s been in the high 70s, low 80s, sunny and beautiful.  JGL cleared out the carport, and we even had dinner out there last night.  More than likely we’ll be out there again tonight 🙂  The week is looking to be the same, but with some rain towards the end of the week, which we’ll need.

But here’s the rundown of what’s been accomplished this weekend thus far:

  • Fencing put up around the vegetable garden (woo hoo!  Take THAT deer!)
  • Lime worked into the soil, “back forty” re-tilled and turned, and as many clumps of grass as we can moved OUT.
  • Salad, bush beans, and two rows of corn put into the ground 🙂
  • Grass seed put on the very bare patches of lawn–watered and hay placed on top
  • Negotiations started with Neighbor about using his truck to procure mulch for the flower beds

The seedlings are looking strong, although they need to be thinned out.  I’m pretty amazed that we haven’t killed any yet, but we’ll take it–fresh tomatoes are going to taste sooo good!

But before we get ahead of ourselves, I think it’s time to get clean, pick up the house, and take a breather–I think Carson and Lucy would like to spend some quality time with us rather than watch us run around.  Happy Easter, everyone!

It's the Easter Lab, Charlie Brown!