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Lima Beans from Chiapas


I'm just back from New York and while I'd love to hang around and watch Alice Faye movies on TV, the reality is many of my trial beans are ready to be harvested. The longer nights, wetter mornings and chance of rain all mean I need to get on it. I loved New York, but to tell you the truth, this view on a Sunday afternoon is what pleases me more than anything.


My youngest son, Nico, and I go down the rows, pulling off the dried pods and putting them into paper sacks. We start out chatty but soon it's dead silence as we concentrate and do our work. I notice if Nico doesn't understand something, he just makes it up. I wonder if we don't all do that in some manner.


As I look through the netting on my row, I dare not tell my seven-year-old how much these late afternoons mean to me, for fear that he'd run away or return to video games. I just saw Patti LuPone's electrifying performance in Gypsy, followed by drinks at Sardi's, and yet spying Nico through the beans is my idea of heaven. Thankfully, it seems I have it all, for the moment.


The limas have weird smile-shaped pods and they seem to be indeterminate, meaning the beans and flowers just keep coming. The pods dry on their own without me cutting the water.


They seem suseptible to some mealy worm but otherwise, they're mostly fine. Luckily, we grew enough for the bugs and for us.


The pods just pop open like a twisted spring if you let them.


Nico didn't think much of this bean but I love the color. They're even more dramatic as they darken.


We put the dried pods in a pillowcase and then my laborer went to town threshing them by smashing the pillowcase on to the side of the house. Normally we hang the bag piñata-style and whack it with a baseball bat but we didn't have much and this technique worked just as well. And it gave me a chance to exclaim how well all that "growing food" he'd been eating paid off.


Inside, we separated the pods from the beans and then shook them through a sieve top get any last junk out.

Nothing short of a great day for two bean lovers!

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