Bring Your Own Butter
Gourds and Lima Beans
The corn is all picked, and shucked, and waiting in the freezer to be eaten. We’ve given away some of it to family and friends. There are still some green beans drying on the vines, they got too big to be good eating but some of their younger siblings are also cooling their heels in the freezer. A sad story concerning the lima beans: we started picking them last week, when we had a good sized bag I shelled them all, steamed them, seasoned them with butter, lemon pepper and garlic powder and- they were not good. They were tough and had a sort of metallic taste. Our gardening neighbor had gotten us this bag of beans to plant from Southern States, an agricultural supply store, where he gets some of his seeds, and on the bag it said “Not for human consumption”. We assumed that referred to the dried beans in the bag, not the product of planting the beans, but maybe we were wrong.
So, lessons learned for next year:
- Choose our seeds earlier and with more attention, maybe choosing from seed catalogs so that we can get types more in keeping with the Native American tradition?
- Four bean seeds per corn mound is too many, if all the seeds sprout and aren’t eaten by critters. We had to stake some of the corn stalks to keep them from being pulled down by the vines.
- There is not enough space in between the corn and bean mounds to plant the squash (here’s a link to the spacing guidelines we followed). The spaces between need to be bigger or space needs to be set aside just for the squash. Or maybe alternate planting beans and squash in the corn mounds, instead of only beans?
The gourds were all volunteers that we transplanted from near the house, they did really well and we have gourds drying in three places: on our screened porch in an old dish-drying rack; outside on a screen; and in our greenhouse on a larger screen. The reasons for three different drying places are: 1) there are too many of them to be all in one place; and 2) this way we can see what is the best method of drying them. Very scientific.