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From the Looks of This You'd Think I Had Lots of Seeds

Category: Starting and Maintaining the Garden | Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:53 am

Gardening takes time and timing. Sometimes it doesn't all fall together like you think it will. This winter was one example with the hard freeze and a few lost plants that will make room for new plants (a friend after participating in a cookie exchanged decided to host a plant exchange so I am set...but that is another story...maybe).

Today I saw quite a few dried bean pods hanging on the vines along the fence for the garden. I flashed back to November. I wondered if they will self sow? Nature hasn't provided any warm weather for sprouting yet. Don't think I'll try harvesting them. Best to know when to step back and wait considering all-in-all.

For years I have collected and saved seeds from my rich, robust flavored scarlet runner beans I grow yearly. I thought of it as second nature. Kind of a comforting fall ritual. I was a little late in collecting pods and seeds this last fall.

A nice little harvest of scarlet runner beans ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

I spent the day picking pods and shelling beans. I had collected over a gallon of beans and they looked great. I would even have enough for a couple of big pots of bean soup. Or at least I thought I would. For the first time ever, I collected beans that were a bit damp. Bringing them into the warm house I learned that beans can sprout in less than 24 hours. Big oops there!

A few Cascade Giant Stringless Beans ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Even my hubby's Cascade Giants did the sprouting "thing". Oh well, I figured I could just make soup out of them. They make great soup. Sprouting should just increase the nutritional value right? Best laid plans detoured but still looking promising.

I laid down for a little nap waking up to the aroma of burnt beans filling the air. I couldn't help but giggle (although I worried about wrecking my good soup pot) at the irony of it all. I quickly took them out to the compost and scraped the pot out. Guess this was just not the year to save bean seeds.

Oh well, gardening keeps us humble and helps to keep our sense of humor going. On the bright side my Hooker's corn actually matured for eating and seed saving. These small corn plants and ears are perfect for my small yard and a heirloom variety bred here in Olympia since the 1930's. My second planting in last week of July actually matured into pretty little ears that turn from white (that's the eating time) to purple/black (getting ready to dry). Lots of seeds to plant for this next year for these sweet little ears of corn.

Mature Hooker's Corn ready for drying ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

White turns blue for Hooker's Corn ( photo / image / picture from Jewell's Garden )

Yeh, it is the plant exchange that got me thinking seeds and reminiscing. At work we were talking of starting vegetable seeds and trading them as well as flowers, perennials and what-not-plants. A May Day celebration with hot drinks and pastries. It's never too early to start planning and dreaming. All because of a cookie exchange.

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Sjoerd wrote on Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:04 am:

This was a nice commentary with pics. I enjoyed reading it do much.
You are right about little things happening to keep us humble.
It was fun reading how things progressed with you.


jubabe296 wrote on Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:00 am:

Oh I like the purple corn! Interesting how it changes from white to purple. I'm sorry you burnt your beans!:(


glendann wrote on Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:10 am:

I think that purple corn is wonderful.Have seed party and request the people you invite bring along seeds they would like to swap for other seeds.
Sorry about all the sprouting beans and burned ones.


Jewell wrote on Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:19 pm:

Love your idea of a seed swap party Glendann. I wasn't upset by any of the stages with the beans. Just seemed to be one of those things. We'd eaten so many through the summer that I guess I was about beaned out any way.

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