Friday, May 1, 2009

Tepary Insanity

Oh no. We bought more seeds.

I read about the Tepary Bean, went to the ECHO seed site, and that was all she wrote. If "all she wrote" means I also "needed" an assortment of other equally-enticing seeds.

It's not as if we actually NEED more things to plant. There are no vacancies in Bucketville. But seeds, we buy.

(Thank goodness I'm not the only one out here so afflicted. This condition could be more contagious than the swine flu...)

As for the above picture, I have to get a good look at these before the heat kicks 'em hard. This is about the only time of year these vines look good, or at least that was the case last year.

None of them set fruit last year, so I'm thinking of trying my hand at my very first batch of pickles before too long just to road test the grape leaves...I remember my Grandma's dills having a clove of garlic and a grape leaf in each jar...mmm :) There is a little market nearby and they have a lot of cucumbers, but we aren't enough in the groove with timing and growing yet to have our own.
I think these guys will get harvested this weekend, and salads will abound! After they're feasted on, we'll plant something geared more toward the hot weather. The days now are quite hot, though there are some mild nights still...but there is still NO RAIN.

This is about the actual size of one of the friendly little lizards that are all over the place here.

When I first moved down here, they kind of freaked me out, but since they're not poisonous and don't bite, and DO eat prodigious quantities of crawly bugs, I've warmed to them. I love seeing them peeping out from leaves. They take giant leaps if they think we're too close, and the males show off for the gals by extending their throat flap, waving down their women and bobbing their heads.

Yeah, little guy, you're cool :)

I'm really excited that we may have solved our Floridians-Do-Not-Plant-For-Summer-Harvests dilemma. The weather here has extremes that do in a lot of hot weather crops that flourish elsewhere...maybe the non-winters, the extra parasites, the extremes of drought and monsoon?? Whatever the case, we've had to explore additional resources to find some that we hope will be up to the challenge. The ECHO global farm was a great place to nose around for those sorts of's an order we placed that I can't wait to try our hand at planting.

Some of these are dual-purpose plants, and all are supposed to be hardy and worthy of some kitchen and garden experimentation. Woo, happy!

To arrive soon, seed packets (as if we ever have enough):

Cranberry Hibiscus ---flowers, edible! leaves, edible!
Lima Bean- 'Pima Orange' -- can't wait to see if this one does well...gorgeous colored heirloom bean
Lima Bean-'7 Year' -- hullo, this is the Madagascar bean we've been looking for!
Malabar Spinach, Red -- they had this growing as a ground cover around other plants at ECHO, sort of a prostrate viney non-invasive plant, gorgeous red stems and green leaves
Okra-'Burgundy' -- who can resist more red?? :)
Papaya-'Red Lady' -- and even more red. A more dwarf type, though it is a hybrid
Pigeon Pea-'Vegetable' --we'll see if we can grow 'em, and if so, how we best can use 'em
Pumpkin, Tropical-'Brian' -- Again, I'm enamored with growing drought-tolerant plants. let's see if it'll make it
Tepary Bean -- Here's one I have high hopes for. They might weather the fluctuations better than our snaps and purple hulls, we'll see. They sounded vigorous and delicious in the preliminary reading I've done, and can be used as a green manure cover crop. I'll have to check but I think the leaves are edible. Don't take my word on that, I'm sleep deprived. Sleep deprived and with visions of seeds STILL dancing in my head.
Yardlong Bean 'Mix'-- we'll have to get some verticality going for these and the madagascars and a couple of the others listed above. So far we've done bush-type beans and we're dealing with poor soil, straight up wood shavings and horse poo, and a whole lot of weeds. Soil improvement is a labor of love and isn't an overnight phenomenon. Anyway, these look productive and they're beautiful. And take fewer square feet of terra firma
Hopefully some of these will grow enough to eat them and figure out what works well. It'll be fun trying :)

But for now, I've been up nearly 24 hours, so it's lights out for me.

The old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be. (But she's not out to pasture yet, either, ha!)

I hope your weekend is wonderful!
Shabbat shalom

1 comment:

ChristyACB said...

That is a load of beans! Good luck with the new things in the garden.