Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bean talk

Sometimes it seems like I spend half my time talking about beans.  We sell beans at the farmers’ market, so I find myself explaining several times per market day the differences in goose beans, tobacco worm beans, greasy beans, etc.

Some of my customers know the differences in beans very well. Most of those who do are “getting’ on up in years” and have raised and eaten a variety of beans over a lifetime.

They teach me things about pole beans, ram horns and rattlesnake beans that I didn’t know, and I grew up listening to family and neighbors debate the merits of all kinds of beans.
Today I had a customer who drove all the way from Jackson County to get some goose beans.  She’s got a family member undergoing chemo who is requesting them, the only thing that sounds good to him right now.  Apparently the fellow used to grow them himself, but hasn’t been well enough to in recent years.

What is it with us hillbillies and our beans? Why do we love them so? Will I be requesting them when the grim reaper comes calling, or will I be begging for chocolate cake? 
It’s hard to say. 

Sometimes I get tired of picking beans, growing beans, stringing beans, EATING beans and discussing beans, but I know if I couldn’t do it, I’d probably miss it. 
Many of the older folks who come to market speak longingly of the days when they were able to raise a big garden. 

If there’s one thing you learn about gardening, it’s that there’s a season for everything, and seasons don’t last long.

                                                 This....
                                           
                                                        
                                              looks like this

after two or three days of intermittent sunshine and a few hours in the oven.  We call them shuckbeans.
                              
Anyone know why? 

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