La fin des haricots ? not remotely.


This has been a very wet day after a couple of almost spring-like bright days of noticing all the young shoots of nettle—I felt like leaning low towards them and asking them what this was all about, that this was October up here, I didn’t, instead I picked delicious alpine strawberies, much sweeter than during the Summer—I wondered about this as well. A wet day indeed and as the night falls I do not feel that I have yet properly drip dried since my daily animal goatschickenscats chores and my picking the last of the elegantly curled up beans that could be reached on the tip of my wellies.

In French “the end of the beans” la fin des haricots, mean something along the lines of the last straw or a downright disaster. Sometimes during the growing season when there is a sudden glut of something that needs to be picked and processed this minute, or else some complete crop failure because it rained too many days in a row or the slugs decided to hold a convention on a particular bed, I remember to be grateful that I don’t have to rely solely on what I am able to produce for feeding my people or earning my keep (How could I ever? I ask myself).

The cows next door came through the hedge one early morning a few weeks ago and had to be chased awkwardly, but they had tramped all around the orchard, breaking branches, and loosening most of the fruit, a lot of it not remotely ripe. Not a windfall, a cowfall, it’s not such good news. So I am aiming to make as many apple things as I can manage, wishing I had a proper pressure canning vessel, but I know that there will be also other apples to be gotten from other places so it won’t be “the end of the beans” if a good few end up rotted on the compost heap. Meanwhile I still eat my apples skin, pips (and sinker), carefully putting the uneaten stalk in the pocket of whatever garment I am wearing to be fondled later. When it comes to pears, the same rule applies, but I give the stalks even more respect, I dry them carefully and store them together—for an art project in the future no doubt.

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