I’m finding much enjoyment in dried beans this year. My bowl full of Hutterites is still on the seed-saving bench, and I run my fingers through it occasionally as I pass by. I’m collecting Mitla Black tepary beans in a different bowl as I find them (they grew up the tomato stakes and corn stalks, so every once in a while I spot a few dried pods), and I love cracking open the pods and pushing my thumb along the inside to make the little beans pop out. I look forward to the ripening of the Hidatsa Shield Figure beans, which are still twined green and plump around the fallen sunflower stalks. I can see how having pounds upon pounds of dried beans would turn shucking into a chore, but with the small amounts I have it’s a pleasure.

This weekend I’m embarking on another pleasure, not a new one but one I haven’t done for five years: the Three-Day Novel contest. I don’t enter it officially (except the first year), because it costs too much, but it’s great insane fun. I’ve been behind on getting my outline together, which is why there’s been no gardening this week other than picking some tomatoes and herbs. The Hopi Red Dye amaranth needs using; the lemon balm needs seed-stripping. Oh well; that’s what next week is for.

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