Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pinto Beans, Miniature White Cucumber

April 2, 2013
Ottawa City, Ontario, Canada

I was looking at the pictures of my beans last year, and I thought it looks pretty - if not chaotic, climbing up the backyard canopy, up to the roof. You can say it was an easy harvest, as I can see them dangling all the time when I sit on my chair. Many of them did not make it: the squirrels dug them, the earwigs have a fest, the slugs love the treat, and accidentally the cat dug a hole in the ground. However, those that make it were lovely.

I think that those I directly seeded to the ground were all doomed: those many that went to the backyard creatures. However, I was crazy waiting for winter to officially end, that around April, I started many bean seedlings in my basement. So, by May - you have a 3 feet bean, just about ready to jump out of the window. This was not an easy feat - as beans will show you if it needed something. I thought those malnourished beans under my grow light will just die naturally composted in my garden. To my surprise,they climb like crazy on some random ribbons, small string that I tied up to my canopy, held up by sticks --which was gathered by my toddlers around spring.
And they were productive too. I feed them naturally - which means that I got compost from the nearby NCC forest (okay, I brought the veggie peels there last season, so I dug em around spring to bring them back to my garden), mushroom compost courtesy of my neighbor who also garden, and epsom-salt water solution - ( if you tackle the yuck factor), that is technically grey water.  I soaked my tired feet in epsom-salt water solution at the end of the day, and pour the water in the garden after. Nobody's complaining, not even the drunk slugs.

So, I would do this again, but pre-germinate the beans indoors. Because those pesky ear wigs ate my beans as they come out for life. Who says that only humans love sprouts? I bet even those slugs did, and as for the cats --- I don't know if they just wanted to dig or the beans sprouts give them reason to dig that specific area.

While Pinto is considered dry beans, I actually picked mine young, and add them on stir fries or salads. I left few for seedlings - let the pods dry to brownish by fall, so I can save the seeds for next season.

And yeah, maybe I will start my beans soon, because i will bring out a tall beans, strong enough to withstand attack of the slugs and earwigs.

Pole beans

Miniature White  Cucumber in a big big pot

Miniature white cucumber matures at 2-3 inches, young bean harvest

a ripe miniature white cucumber turned yellow - this one was set aside for seed saving.

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