This week was a week of legumes. Beans and peas are part of a larger family of plants called legumes that form special relationships with soil bacteria to make atmospheric nitrogen available to the plant. The second succession of fresh green beans that we have been watching with such anticipation still looks wonderful. The plants are large and full of blossoms. But when we went to pick them there were hardly any beans ready. However, the first planting that we had given up on started pumping out more beans. I guess they just needed a little rest through the really hot weeks in early August. We are very glad we didn’t mow them down after the first picking.
The second legume we harvested this week is edamame. It is a soybean for fresh eating. They make a delicious and nutritious snack full of protein. The edamame patch turned into a huge jungle of tangled bean bushes and weeds. We had to put on our bushwhacker outfits to venture in. We are very glad that the beans ripened now because we had started having our first deer problems in months. As Petunia the ferocious guard dog has aged she doesn’t patrol as often as she used to. She does a great job guarding the layer hens, but prefers to nap next to them instead of touring the edges of her territory. The deer noticed the lack of dogs and took the opportunity to sample our beans. Fortunately, they only ate the top leaves off. We harvested them before they found the rest.
As the night time temperatures stay in the low sixties our summer crops slow down dramatically. Tomatoes ripen far more slowly, beans grow at half the speed, and the peppers seem to never size up. It’s as if the summer garden is in slow motion. Meanwhile, our cooler weather crops are enjoying the change. The chard planted last week is looking great as it stretches its colorful leaves to the sky. We look forward to harvesting it in September.
August around the farm