Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Beans, Beans, and More Beans

I've been a tad lazy this week getting my latest post done. Actually I've been pretty lazy about everything this week. This past weekend was good and we got a lot of wood split and stacked, and I got 2/3 rd of the cranberry beans picked. But Monday started out with me waking up late and it has pretty much been going down hill from there.

I did manage to get the last of the cranberry beans picked. I still have to wait for the leaves to fall off the scarlet runners before I can pick them. That is going to take some effort and require the extension ladder. We planted the scarlet runners so they could climb the old antenna tower next the the house. With the weather they did really well and reached to the top peak of the house, a good 20 ft in the air. Even though it will be hard to pick them I liked how they covered up the tower and made it pretty with red blooms and large green leaves.

September was the wettest month ever here at Sparrow Haven. Fall is generally a wet time for us but it doesn't normally start until the middle of October or even November. This year it started early. The remnants of several tropical storms have only added more rain to the mix. In fact another remnant is going through today and tonight. On top of that, it is a little cool today, cool enough that a small fire has been built in the wood stove to take off the chill and the damp.

The garden is done for the year, with the exception of picking the runner beans. Once they are picked and shucked I will be canning them for the coming winter. Last year I filled quart jars with beans and topped with boiling water before processing them in the pressure canner. This year I am going to hot pack the beans. They'll be cooked in boiling water for 3-5 minutes before the jars are filled with the beans and the water, and then processed in the canner.

With the last two years worth of beans stored I think we will be eating a lot of beans this winter. It is just as well that I managed to make 15 pints of green tomato relish. It is the best stuff in the world for eating with a pot of beans and hot chunks of cornbread. Pretty tame food but filling and nutritious, what more could you ask for.

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