Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Beans for drying

Our beans for drying have suffered over the past few years. First a virus attack, then the sodden summer of 2007. This year they were enjoyed by slugs just as soon as we put the plants into the ground.

This photo is of the small patch of Horsehead French beans we have left. Our stock of seed has gradually dwindled and the variety is no longer stocked in the seed catalogues. We allow the seeds to dry in their pods and then collect and store. I think we'll need the entire harvest for next years seed.

Its issues like this that make one reflect on the lives of subsistence farmers. If our crop fails, our children will not go hungry. For other growers, in other parts of the world, this small story could mean impending disaster. The climate change that we are propelling forward will have a bigger impact on the fragile existence of my distant and vulnerable growing brothers than it will on me.

My immediate concern is bringing the beans in before the mice completely destroy them. It will be a top priority at the weekend. Does anyone think we are doing even half enough to address the major environmental issue of our age?

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