By the time winter rolls around, I tend to be completely over gardening. I am fed up with chasing gophers, feeling overwhelmed with a constant list of to-do's that are often late, racing against the inevitable passing of time. I am ready to let the grass take over, and put the garden to bed. But sometimes, I don't even quite get there, and tasks remain unfinished until spring.
Take these black beans. I labored long and hard with the harvest, painstakingly laying the cut plants out to dry on a tarp, moving them in and outside to prevent dew moisture from getting on them, shelling them out of their dried husks, and collecting them in a plastic bin. And then they became forgotten and forlorn, languishing in silence in the shed. But yesterday, as I was in search of a tarp to cover some garden beds, I not only remembered them, but decided to deal with them, once and for all!
All that was required was a brief winnowing, to remove the remaining debris away from the beans and a second container to pour them into. I found a bucket, and stepped out onto the porch, where there was a varying strength southwest breeze, perfect for the task. By pouring the beans between the two containers, the extra stuff blew away. I had to do it three times, and pick out the largest stems and such, and then I was able to put them into a plastic bag, and tuck them into our pantry drawer. Now they lie in wait to be used. I'll post a recipe sometime.
And this afternoon, I decided to pull up the last of the winter carrots, lest the gophers get them first. They are really going for it out there, I discovered today that they ate the entire two rows of pea seeds I planted last week. It's time to get serious on them. I set two traps, and hauled in the carrots, double pointed, stumpy, and all.