Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lessons Learned

Cherries good. Bean maggots bad.

Here is what you don't do: plant a late cover crop, till it in late, rush to plant your beans and then incubate a superb hatch of bean seed maggots in the cool moist rotting cover crop. This is guaranteed to eliminate beans from your summer harvest. The bean maggots eat the bean sprouts as they emerge from the seed. The happy little buggers took care of every bean seed in the garden. I hope my friends and neighbors have a bumper crop this year, because I will be on the hunt for beans.

Consolation for the demise of the beans came in the bucket of cherries Gabe brought out from Horse Creek. Sweet, dark, juicy delicious organic cherries. The tree is at least 40 years old and enormous. It has survived in the old orchard along the river in spite of drought, pests (including bears), and floods. The birds love it. They usually get the harvest, but this year the salmon season coincided with cherry season and our dedicated fisherman also loves fruit. So I got the bonus of cherries.

Some were splitting from the copious rains of last week. I sorted and saved the most pristine for fresh eating and pitted and froze the rest. These will go into my favorite kind of cherry pie, which is a mix of 1/3 sweet cherries and 2/3 pie cherries. And don't forget cherry smoothies, and plain frozen cherries barely thawed which are a great treat in themselves, especially for little kids. For now I'm practicing self discipline and not reaching into the cherry bowl too often, just when I think of the beans.