I've been thinking a lot lately about growing more of our own food here. I've been influenced to this thinking by watching Alys Fowler's BBC series, "The Edible Garden," and Carol Klein's "Grow Your Own" (also from BBC). In fact, it was by watching them that I actually began to believe that I might be able to feed Turfman and myself mostly from the veg garden. With my courage fortified last week by them and Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I was off to my home library to consult the two books I have on Florida gardening. I really wanted to learn what grows best here in the summer. That's when my eyes fell on the mention of beans.
|Lima Bean "Christmas"|
All of the beans but Bountiful are pole varieties. In preparation for those lovely little packets of protein, I began thinking of what kind of support I could give them. I wove arches made of dried willow last year. That didn't work out as well as I had hoped. We just don't have access to a lot of freshly cut willow, and the dried obviously does not bend well. They worked well enough to support the beans, and it was great fun to walk through the arches, picking beans along as the hung inside. But I wanted arches that were little more sturdy this time. And they had to be something that I could easily assemble and disassemble. I presented this little problem to Turfman. We puzzled together for a while, and then he set off to the local hardware store. He returned with 10' pvc poles and 45° joints, and then we tried to come up with a solution. And here's the final product.
|Bring on the beans!|
We had an incredible amount of rain last week. In fact, yesterday was the first day in a week when it did not rain. That made gardening difficult, especially during the periods when it seemed like we were in the middle of a tropical storm, but the plants absolutely loved it. So I have to show you how they responded to the good, long drink.
|My Don Juan rose putting on a show|
|The first of my favorite flower, the Daisy, has opened|
|The mammoth zucchini|
Now all that's left for me to do is wait for those beans (okay, and a whole lot of gardening in between). I suspect each time I walk into the veg patch, a neighbor might just be able to hear me chanting a familiar rhyme over and over to myself. "Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat..." Well, you know the rest.