Scramble to a finish

Weather prediction is for a strong frost tonight with showers tomorrow, even a chance of a few snowflakes, so I decided I better get the garden taken care of. I was going to do it last weekend but I was dealing with other issues. It was a bit of a scramble after work today to get everything picked and put away before I lost my daylight. No time to take pictures.

I dug up my beets. What a laugh! I could fit my entire crop in one hand. Quite a disappointment, but it is a lesson learned. I’m going to have to abandon at least four feet on that side of the garden. I’m pretty convinced that, combined with the shade, the tree is just sucking too much moisture from that part of the garden and things won’t grow the way they should.

The biggest part of the job was pulling up all the green bean plants. I’m probably being silly, but I decided to see if I can get the beans to dry and then use them as dried beans.  If I was really serious about that, I should spread them out on a screen or at least a sheet, but instead I put them into my big wheelbarrow and spread them out as well as I could. I figure I will stir them around every other day or so to keep them from molding or rotting. It may be a fool’s errand, but I’ll see what happens. I have grown dried beans before but I believe I just pulled up the plants and hung them up, with the beans left to dry on the plants. It was many years ago when I did that and can’t recall clearly, except that it was a pretty dusty job shelling the dried beans and winnowing them.

There were still some edible green beans growing so I harvested them – just enough for a single serving. I also found a few tomatoes turning red on the vines, so I harvested those as well as a few green tomatoes. I thought I would try making fried green tomatoes. I have never done that but have always wanted to try.

I pulled up the tomato plants and pulled their cages. Then I cut the fencing loose from the posts and wound up the two rolls. That was a bit of a pain. They did not want to be rolled up as tightly as they were originally (no surprise) and after doing all the other work in the garden I was too pooped to wrestle with them much. Indeed, I was too tired to pull the fence posts. I decided to hope for a nice day to be able to go out and do that.

I wanted to till the garden up but with the rain showers we have been getting it was just too wet. I’m not sure if I will get a chance to do that before the snow falls, but if not, that’s life. I left the pulled up plants in a pile in the garden, too. The stems of the green bean plants are too tough and stringy to till directly into the garden, as are the tomato vines, so I can’t do that. I would like to compost them but I don’t have a bin set up, so I’m not sure how I will deal with them.

It was chilly and there was a pretty good breeze blowing. The shadows were very long by the time I was done. Standing in the garden, pulling green beans off the plants, I felt very alone. I wanted so badly for someone to be out there in the garden helping me or, barring that, someone inside the house getting a good dinner together for us for when I was done. The only thing that saved me was the occasional scent of wood burning somewhere. It reminded me of better times. I finished my chores and hobbled back into the house. I popped a couple of aspirin and then microwaved a few frozen burritos for dinner. It is good to have the garden done.