Vermont Cranberry Beans—I Didn’t Plant Enough

Posted on | July 25, 2007 | 115 Comments

I’m coming up on the end of July here, and haven’t manged to get many of my late crops planted. I did get beets, kale and collards in, and they’re in need of some thinning. I’m hoping I can transplant a bunch of the seedlings into my greens boxes for winter. My favorite shell beans, Vermont Cranberry, are ripening to perfection now, and I plan to pick more this evening. My first little harvest two nights ago just yielded a small hand full, but there are at least fifty more pods that are just about ready to pluck from the plants.

a hand full of vermont cranberry bean pods

I had intended to plant enough to get a good five pounds for winter, but that never happened. Yet. I have enough seed to do it, I just need to take the time. Maybe tonight if it’s not raining. But I’m certainly not wishing for clear skies, not when we need the moisture so much. Monday night, a massive, thick, humid cloud cover moved in over Northeast Ohio, totally unpredicted. Even the weather guys were stumped, “Where did that come from? We called for clear, sunny skies until Wednesday!” I just love it when the weather dudes are stumped and outraged by Mother Nature. “Hey! That wasn’t on my radar!”

I checked the forecast against the sky out my window and decided to go ahead and water the garden anyway, because I tend towards the superstitious idea that spending an extra $5 on my water bill will surely cause the skies to open up. Hey, you know what? It worked. It rained all through the early hours of the morning, and then the sun came out for a few hours and got it good and hot yesterday afternoon, and then several lightning-thick thunderstorms came through with heavy rains. My plants had a head start and were able to really drink deep. Now we’re looking at the possibility of rain straight through till Saturday night!

But I would like to run out between the rain drops to get some more seed in the ground. I’m hoping it’s not too late to plant a fat patch of basil so I can get at least a few small containers of Sunflower Pesto in the freezer. So here’s the list of what I want to get in the ground yet:

Vermont Cranberry Beans
Haricot Verts
Winter Hardy Endive
Summerhead Lettuce

another hand full of vermont cranberry bean pods

If I get it all done by the end of this weekend, it should be okay. Maybe the greens won’t get so big, but they’ll be edible. Then I can focus my energies on building a few more lasagna beds in the yard (order another load of manure) and getting the greens boxes and maybe one row next door set up for row covers. I’m ready to have a 3-season garden. Next year…four.

[tags] fall planting, organic gardening, drought, rain, Vermont Cranberry Beans [/tags]