We love beans. Green beans, yes. Dry beans, oh boy. This year, about half of my bean crop is dry beans, like the unsorted pile of red beans and pintos on my dining room table--open-pollinated, "heirloom" beans, grown from seed saved from last year. We eat the red beans with rice and sausage (with thyme, garlic, cayenne, and green onions), and the pintos (with garlic and cumin) as refried beans. In next year's garden: more of these, plus tepary beans from Seeds of Change. Teparys thrive in dry weather, which we definitely have plenty of. What's your favorite dry beans? How do you cook them?
Still in the garden, after our second freeze: fall/winter greens, such as chard, kale, spinach, and the coles (cabbage, broccoli), and Irish potatoes. But I'm not done planting. Garlic goes in this week, and onions. And there's still time for carrots and beets.
Book Report. China and I have settled on the title for the 2012 book: Cat's Claw. There are probably a half-dozen herbs locally called cat's claw. Acacia gregii is the one we have in mind, although China will probably want to tell you about all the other cat's claws. You know how she is. This book features Sheila Dawson, though. You'll see why, when you read Mourning Gloria (April, 20100).
And speaking of web pages, Bill wants me to tell you that he's having a holiday sale on his woodwright's website. If you're looking for a unique gift--a beautiful hand-turned piece made from one of Meadow Knoll's trees--you might find it here.
Also this week, I read and reviewed two outstanding books you might like: Carol Deppe's The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times; and Growing Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Vegetables, by Joan Dye Gussow.
Reading note. Louis Armstrong loved red beans and rice so much that he signed all his personal letters with "Red beans and ricely yours..."