Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bush Beans

First harvest of a Bush Bean is most satisfying. Soft in a snappy way, delicate and unblemished. A person gets a sense of purpose, of putting food by. Then by about the second handful of Bush Beans a person begins to understand why picking Bush Beans really requires that agility of circus performer. Most of it is done bent double in full sun. At the end of the first row a person is ready to take a blood oath never to plant Bush Beans again, join the camaraderie of Pole Bean people, with their strings, and stones hanging from strings, and a plethora of contraptions designed to not fall over in gusty winds.

But there is one thing. Picking Bush Beans is very good for building the grit and determination often missing in a gardener's character. I put it right up there with jumping out of airplanes, climbing Mount Everest, and understanding how to do your own taxes. And if you think I'm exaggerating a little there's something else. One of the most central features of a gardener's anatomy is his or her back. Through the course of the non Bush Bean picking season, the back does indeed become idle, the muscles do the muscle equivalent of smoking cigarettes to keep from thinking too much and picking Bush Beans straightens them up. This means that by the end Bean season a person's back is about thirty years younger.


Thistledog said...

I have to laugh. This year I finally gave up on pole beans and planted the bush variety. Blue Lake is my favorite. I've had enough of stringing supports and staking heavy poles up only to have them either topple or keep growing so high I can't reach them. I pick bush beans on my knees, to hell with bending over.

tim candler said...

Love Blue Lakes. Every year I come up with increasingly convoluted arguments to keep growing them. They're my trickle down theory I guess. I'll give the knees a go, and make sure a walking stick's handy. "Found Cast in his Bean Patch." Not a bad epitaph.