Fava beans, and moving on.

It’s convenient that my next-door neighbor has gone camping this weekend, because I need his yard waste can. I forgot to ask him but I am pretty sure he will be okay with me using it to load up with all of the garden clippings I’ve collected in just two days. He has his dragster parked long-term and rent-free on a few inches of my driveway so he likes to feel that he is doing things for me, too.

The fava beans were a big job! Yesterday I cut all the pods off the 30-something plants that grew from two packets of seeds I’d bought online. I might have started the harvest earlier if it hadn’t been so rainy. As it was, I got caught in a surprise shower in the  middle of the process. Before the last week of rain the beans were overflowing their planter, thus:

But by the time I got to picking them, they had grown a few more inches and were  getting infested with insects and maybe disease, and were just a mess generally. Here are a few shots showing how the project developed over the day. By the evening I was sitting under the wisteria shelling the creamy green beans out of their pods, which I dropped on to the patio at my feet. Just the plants and the pods of these Vicia faba — also known as broad beans or horse beans — filled most of my own large green waste bin.

It was slow going, but I shelled a couple of quarts of beans. That didn’t make much of a dent in the tubful, and I needed to do some other kinds of work still before bed; the thought occurred to me that I could offer them on a county freesharing Facebook group I belong to, so I took pictures and posted them, and this morning  a woman came and took half of the remainder. Tomorrow another member is coming and maybe she will clean me out. I could eat all the beans myself eventually, but I have so many things needing doing right now besides shelling favas… like cooking the ones I did shell!

While I was waiting for the lady I thought I’d do a little deadheading – ha! I ended up spending hours on the front garden, yanking out the poppies that want to cover every other plant, shearing one wallflower bush, cleaning up the irises, weeding. Oh, yes, and taking pictures of pretty flower pairings, or trios, and the asparagus in its ferny state with Johnny Jump-ups. I dragged the neighbor’s can over to my driveway and started piling in the green and flowery trimmings.

A Painted Lady butterfly was drinking at the chive flowers, and making me think that she was showing off for the camera. Unlike most butterflies, she did not flutter away as I drew near, but did pirouettes, and flew from bloom to bloom striking different poses. Perhaps the strong drink was making her lose all inhibitions. All the while I slowly came closer…  and then she came closer to me, spread her wings on the flower right in front of me and let me watch and admire her at her work.

Her wings are a bit tattered, I can see now in the closeups. I wonder if a bird tried to make lunch out of her… Speaking of birds, I think I may have made friends with a certain chickadee. I will tell you about him later; right now I have to head to rest and sleep so that I can tackle more garden tasks tomorrow.


12 thoughts on “Fava beans, and moving on.

  1. You and your neighbor sound like characters out of A Man Called Ove! Too charming! Envious of your fava bean harvest. Deadheading is truly an endless task!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I want to keep looking at the photographs of the flowers, the butterfly, and the little guy at the end.

    You are blessed with all kinds of life, Gretchen, and you just give it away, this way and as well as that..

    So generous, you. But Life itself is generous too. Every day you invite us to your garden is thanksgiving for us butterflies, flies, and all other moving things.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your front garden is looking lovely! I am attempting a similar thing in my front garden with mainly Australian natives. I am looking forward to seeing how that works out. Gardening is hard work, but so exciting:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow- your garden has really grown, and it’s looking so lush and prolific and beautiful!! I love that you can just devote whole dayS to working in it! I’m always inspired by your gardening posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your garden is so full and overflowing with good things. Even dancing butterflies! A delightful post. There’s something very therapeutic about working hard in one’s garden, and it usually happens that one task leads to another and soon hours have gone by. Or so I’ve found.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How delightful to have the Painted Lady stay so near so you could get a few pictures.
    The rain certainly has made your beans go wild! A sharing site on FB seems like such a good idea.
    Your glut of beans reminded me of something that happened a few years ago. We were in a fruit growing area and saw a sign for apricots. I went to the door and the dear lady took me into her kitchen where she had her entire counter full of quart jars of apricots. She lived alone and didn’t want to waste any but practically begged us to pick the rest off her trees and free her of the burden of ‘too much’ of a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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