Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cool nights, cool crops

While working today at the farm, we were noticing just how amazingly fall-like it felt. The wind smelled like decaying leaves, the dying leaves on the tomatoes rattled in the breeze, the air was cool while the sun was warm and we didn't feel rushed today - a sure sign that we're slowing down! As I cruised around the farm today, I was able to just appreciate the coolness of some of our crops - the artichoke flowers that opened up today, the myriad of dry beans that I love shelling, pocketing and fondling all day; periodically taking out a handful to admire before resuming my sensory fun-time. Remember that movie Amelie? There was one scene in that movie where she shared her favorite feeling being to plunge her hand into a barrel of dry beans, or rice or lentils or something like that. The beans in my pocket are my Amelie-moment. Mmmmm. I'll post some pics of them below - they are soooooooooo beautiful and photogenic!

I was inspired by the swirls on all the speckled roman tomatoes today - I took about 10 pictures of them, they are mesmerizing! These tomatoes are pretty good eating, too, actually. I think they'd make a great sauce, though there are never enough around to make into sauce - we eat them all fresh. These guys could inspire a few paintings this winter.
The other cool crop that should be cropping up this fall is the cardoon! We love this artichoke relative - you don't eat the flowers like artichokes, but you eat the mid-ribs of the leaves. I'll do an exclusive post on those guys complete with recipes!

Yesterday I harvested 200 pounds of purple viking potatoes. These beauties are gorgeous! Purple with pink swirls on the outside and snow white on the inside. A great all-purpose potato, it mashes beautifully, it fries and boils like a pro! Definitely a fantastic potato that has become a favorite. Okay, fun with beans!

Pocket full o' beauty

Jacob's cattle

Tiger's eye

Painted pony

Calypso, aka Yin Yang, aka Orca

Cherokee Trail of Tears
Hidatsa Shield Figure
As I learn more about these awesome beans, we will be sharing recipes and the beans themselves!


gayle said...

I love beans too! The shapes and colors are fascinating.
Did your seed come from Seed Saver's Exchange?
We grew Vermont Cranberry beans last year, and had a nice crop, but the seed rotted in the ground this year. Cold wet springs are not kind to beans...

mara said...

Our seed did in fact come from SSE - GREAT resource! We actually seeded our beans late this year, which missed that wet spell and ended up being a fairly nice crop eventhough we were worried about planting so late. Evenso, I think there'll only be enough beans for us to eat this fall. Can't wait to try the painted pony beans - I'm working on shelling them and coming up with a nice dish. I'll share after I try!