As all gardeners know, sooner or later you are going to lose a plant, several plants, or even a whole crop. Sometimes a pest comes and nibbles them out of existence in the course of a night. Other times a disease or a mildew may take hold. It is always sad and disappointing. It has happened to me many times, but nothing has been as disappointing as what I discovered just a few days ago.
I love growing soup beans. They are simply stunning. I could never grow enough of them to create any substantial store for the cool seasons, but I get such joy from their beauty. And they do end up in soups, burritos, and chilaquiles. This year I started off with Brockton Horticulture, Cherokee Wax, and Mayflower. The Brockton Horticulture were by far the most productive. I think the Cherokee Wax would have done just as well if it were in a better place (next year). The Mayflowers are pretty, but didn’t give me many pods. Here they are all shelled and in their containers.
In the late summer, Christina, from A Thinking Stomach gifted me two more varieties of beans and I did a late planting of Flagg (black and white speckled) and Tarahumara Dark Purple. I just shelled them a few days ago.
On Wednesday I took out a sampling of all the beans I had grown this summer (minus the Cherokee wax because we have eaten them all) to photograph for a post. As I was putting the beans back into their containers I noticed several tiny bugs crawling around on the paper bag I had the beans on. Then I noticed that several of my Brockton Horticulture beans had holes bored into them. On closer inspection of the container they were stored in I could see there was an infestation inside the jar. A quick Internet search helped me identify the pest as a bean weevil. All was lost. All that love growing them, all that toil harvesting and shelling. Lost. Talk about a bummer at the end of the road.
Very serendipitously, the new Seed Savers Exchange catalogue arrived in the mail yesterday. The cover photo is a beautiful display of none other than beans! Can you guess what I did this afternoon as I nursed my cold? I opened to the “Beans” and circled the varieties I want to try next year. There is always next year. Sigh.