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Monday, December 3, 2018

Not Just a Hill of Beans

Oh, my! The dark season, and the holiday seasons are upon us and things have been and continue to be busy here at the sign of the Fussing Duck and Dutch Hex Sign. I enjoyed a brief break in hex sign orders, which allowed me to catch up on homestead tasks. Indoor ones, mostly, as the dark season ushered in cold and snow much earlier, and with much more staying power than we have seen in the ten years in residence here. We are faring well, as are the beasts and birds, mostly!
Troublemaker Major Tom
got into the feeder, needed
help to get out.
Backyard birds, chickens
and some of the fussing ducks
enjoy breakfast in the snow.
In the hex world, after completing the large (48" diameter) and very challenging design for a Pennsylvania Islamic center, I had several much needed weeks "off" to beat down the domestic chaos before the gifting season of orders for smaller signs began.
Islamic center logo, which was designed with
meaning and prayerful intent, rendered
as a hex sign.
Protection from the Evil Eye
8" diameter

Abundance and Prosperity
12" diameter

Livestock Protection for
Angora rabbits, 8" diam.

Protection for That Which Is
8" diameter

Livestock Protection for
Chickens 12" diam.

While all of that amounts to much more than a hill of beans, my title actually refers to some actual beans. 

This year when I planted the garden, I did not put in separate rows for each of the variety of beans I was growing, but instead just put a marker between varieties. Things got very confusing in the dry bean area, as I had also planted them much closer together than usual. I did not figure it would be a big deal, even though I save seed, as beans and peas are not known for crossing easily. I figured it would be easy enough, once they were shelled, to separate the pintos from the cranberry beans and both of them from the black beans I planted for the first time this year. And it wasn't... just a bit time consuming but taken a bit at a time, it got done.

In the process, every now and then I came to a pinto-size bean with pinto-like marking but they were black in color instead of the typical brown, as shown above. Out of the pint of black beans, pint of cranberry beans and gallon and a half of pintos that I harvested, I ended up with 21 beans with the new coloration. Yes, I separated them out and yes I counted them.

I will be giving my beans more separation this coming year, and planting the "new variety" with great care, hoping to grow out enough seed for a good row in 2020, enough to plant for the future year and some to eat! I am hoping for a more robust flavor in a pinto-type bean, but we will see.