As the official bean planter at PVF-East, I diligently plant a new bean patch every two weeks starting the first week of May. On August 7 I planted the last beans of the season, which means that we are officially on the downward slope of 2008. We planted the last squash too, but that doesn’t feel the same. For me the beans create a steady seasonal pulse — they germinate within a week of planting, they are ready to pick 57 days after the seeds go in the ground, and we only pick them for two weeks before they are turned back into the soil. The last planting is always a gamble because frost is unpredictable. As often as not, beautiful plants with teeny weeny beans are blackened by an early October freeze, and that’s that.
We are currently picking the fifth patch out of nine. That’s another way to read the bean calendar. Any way you look at it, we are cruising toward the finish line.