I’m a bad gardener. I know this about myself and have accepted it. But once a year, amidst mountains of bolted, fibrous rejects destined for the compost I get something really right; one vegetable or another fights through my tortuously under-watered and over-acidic wasteland of topsoil and emerges to prove that yes, I can successfully grow something. These precious few successes are what keep me coming back to break the soil every year.
Last year the star aligned (plus I got that tricky PH balance just right) and all my legumes went wild! Both beans and peas were a bumper crop and after picking and eating most of ‘em we still had quite a few browning pods left fluttering on the vine by the end of October.
I carefully picked the pods and laid them out on a paper towel-line container on the kitchen window sill. Three weeks and only one cat-related disaster later they were completely dried and ready to be shelled. At this point they looked just like the ones you get in the little paper satchels at the store, except slightly more radiant ‘cause I grew ‘em, and forgot ‘em, picked ‘em and this year by Gods I’m ‘gonna plant ‘em!
I’m Heirloomin! Which is a term I’m using for propagating seeds that have grown in my own backyard over multiple generations instead of buying new ones from a store. I’ve tried it plenty with herbs but only recently have I had the wherewithal to save seeds from my bigger garden veg.
This year will be my very first crop of beans harvested from years past, so keep your fingers crossed that I don’t botch this up like so many other garden projects. Either way I’ll post the results later on this summer.
Please don’t die… Please don’t die… Please don’t die… Please don’t die.
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UPDATE : It has been roughly two weeks of intermittent rain/sun and we’ve got sprout action! They’re three inches high and seem bug and rot free! I’ve successfully preserved a seed over winter, but I wouldn’t leave me the keys to the zombie apocalypse farm just yet… We’ll wait and see.
UPDATE: Two months of neglect and they’re still growing! I’ve harvested a couple handfuls of fresh beans/peas and the rest are staring to wither and sun-bake. Roughly 70% of the heirloom seeds survived into maturity, which is pretty good!