The beans are coming in and it is so exciting. I love fresh beans. I eat them raw when I break one off as I am harvesting or as a quick snack, I steam them, I roast them, I sear them. I eat them cold and hot and warm.
This morning I spent a hour harvesting beans. I start with the pole beans. They are just starting to have a few mature beans, which means I have to poke around behind the leaves to see if anybean is hiding. There are the purely green Kentucky Wonder, then the red flowering fuzzy bean, Scarlet Runner, then the purple and green Rattlesnake. Then, I move on to the bush beans, they are really going already. First the green Providers, they are prolific and I like to pick them just when they look like they are bursting at the seams. The next bed has yellow wax beans. Sometimes I have a harder time knowing exactly when to pick them, it almost feels like intuition to know when it is perfectly yellow to white and plump. Finally, are the deep purple beans. Get the light wrong, and it is almost impossible to be able to see them hiding under their slightly purple leaves and stems. Then my basket is weighted down and full of color.
And, some pictures of mostly not beans, but maybe you can catch the Scarlet Runner beans with their red flowers. Click to see the pictures larger.
Melon All the things
There is never an end to the potential work that can go into this farm, but I am at the point in the season that I like to call weeding and waiting. And, I could weed constantly and continue to find more things to pull out of the ground. But, instead I am taking a moment to appreciate the growth that is happening. Last year at this time my only connection to the farm was through pictures, now I get to see first hand all the things that are flowering and fruiting and climbing. So here are some pictures of all that happening.
Today is the second CSA pick up of the season. The first pick up was also the last week of school, so this got put off.
Every year it is a little daunting to put together the first few shares. Everything is in the ground looking beautiful, but most things are not yet producing edible parts. So I look to the volunteers; the lettuce and arugula and mustard greens and cilantro that have decided to sprout even where I didn’t plant them. And, I look to the few things that overwinter like garlic and parsnips.
I am hoping everyone can find enough things to do with the mustard greens. My favorites are adding them into salads, sauteing them with garlic and a little lemon juice, or just adding them into any dish like you would cooked spinach. Once, I made saag paneer with cooked mustard greens and it was delicious. And, radish greens can be eaten about the same ways as well.
Enjoy the fruits of the early summer.
This is the time of year where the new farming season gets real. About 4 of the 16 rows on the farm are planted. Today I transported and transplanted onions, leeks, kale, broccoli, and cabbages. It is amazing how much space a few trays of plants can take up when they are in the ground.
Transporting seedlings from the greenhouse to the farm.
The garlic is growing strong and tall.
These beds are direct seeded with things like peas, spinach, beets, and carrots.
The white row cover is trying to help keep the recent transplants well hydrated while I work on getting the irrigation system set back up.
In a month and a half to two months we will start eating this stuff. Yay for growing food!
I sit 1,381 miles away from Two Hands Farm at a Montessori farm school in Huntsburg, OH. Each Sunday evening I receive the same email my CSA members do; giving me a brief insight into what is happening on the farm. I watch as the summer squash grows in the farm here, and wonder how my babies are doing. I am surrounded by corn fields growing taller and taller and I think about the corn I planted.
Two Hands Farm is being cared for by four capable hands, but it is hard to be so far away from it. Each time I offer my hands to the farmer here, I think about paying it forward for the hard work being done on my land.
But, the best windows into how the farm is doing are the pictures. Below I take you with me on a virtual tour of the farm. Elaine washing and bagging greens of some kind.
Pole beans crawling up their trellis, sunflowers and curly kale in the back.
Cucumbers and their trellis with broccoli behind.
Melon sprawl. And flowers.
Tall corn tunnels!
Elaine harvesting. Winter squash spreading. Corn again.
More harvesting. Beans in front, eggplants, peppers and tomatoes on back.
I have an appreciation for order, so it is pleasing to me when, out of the chaos of the weeds, I start to find nice neat rows of what I planted.
Look for corn in the back, potatoes in the front, and squash on the right.
Kale in the back, pole beans in the middle and cabbage in the front left.
Peas, onions, broccoli
It is a joy to see all the spaces filling up with happy plants.
The last few weekends have been a bit of a marathon of getting seedlings transplanted. I was so grateful to have help preparing the land and planting. In one day I planted all of the eggplants, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and tomatoes; around 300 plants. Now, they are all starting to get settled and rooted.
And, the beans, squash, and corn that were direct seeded are all coming up.
Now that most things are in the ground, the never ending task of weeding begins. This weekend I thought there wasn’t much to do on the farm, until I started wandering around to check on things. Before I realized it a few hours had passed while I weeded away.
I feel like we are finally over the hump of hoping and trusting that things will really fill all the space, that the farm will become a sea of green. Now, I can see it happening.