Now I realize many of you are still waiting for the ground to thaw and my heart goes out to you. Truly, it does. Here in Florida, we don’t even know what frozen tundra looks like! No clue. The kids have studied that kind of thing in class, but they don’t live it nor do they garden by it.
Okay, that’s a lie. Jack Frost does nip our noses once in an ice crystal moon, but it’s rare. Thank Goodness! Otherwise, we wouldn’t be harvesting up a spring storm–squash, sweet onions, black beans, pole beans and soon to be potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes and sunflowers! Woohoo! Are you jumping up and down with me?
Figured you were. Gardening is plain old exciting, isn’t it? Take a look at these harvest bunnies in action.
You probably guessed these kindergarteners above are in charge of the pole bean harvest. But what about these lower elementary students? Can you tell what they’re after by looking at the plants? Ask your kids. Bet they can! 🙂
Now most folks aren’t familiar with growing black beans and wouldn’t know how to determine when to pluck them. Actually, it’s real easy. Think “black bean” and you’ll know.
Isn’t that a gorgeous shade of purple-black? I call it eggplant but most of the kids refer to it as purple. Though some times these pods can fool you. As the kids were shelling them, they learned this the hard way.
“How come mine is purple?”
“Why is mine blue?”
Because Mother Nature enjoys the mellow end of the rainbow? Is wonderfully creative? Likes to play tricks on gardeners? Your guess is as good as mine, but if you ask me, I think these beans are beauties.
And going to pull in a bunch of money! You see, the students are harvesting beans and seeds for their first annual school fundraiser (of course we’ll only be selling the mature, black ones). We’re talking total self-sustainability here,because not only do we plant the seeds and grow the plants, harvest the seeds and replant–we’re going to pay for all the gardening supplies that we need to do the job! Gloves, tools, garden tape, fresh mulch and alas, those seeds we have to master harvesting.
It’s not because we’re not near fabulous gardeners, but carrots take a couple of years to produce seeds. Who has that kind of time? And onions. Those babies are tough to get started from seed and we’d just assume deal with the onion “sets” (onions in sprout form). Besides, sweet onions take long enough as it is! We planted ours in October.
So for our first annual seed selling fundraiser, we’ve harvested black beans, pole beans and squash (squash, courtesy of the middle school students) and will soon harvest the rest. We also found a few friends along the way. Some nice…
Some not so nice…
But we didn’t just harvest and “discover” this week–we ate. Of course we did! Sautéed squash and sweet onions was on the menu today. Glazing the squash and caramelizing the onions enhances the sugary taste of this dish, perhaps even lends a cinnamon quality to it? That was the reaction from our taste test!
You can find the recipe for this savory sweet delight in my recipe section.