By the light of the moon

It is now the light of the moon. That is, the moon is on its way from new to full, and the soil is about as warm as it could get around here, what with the sunny hot weather we’ve been having.  So we sowed runner beans (Scarlet Emperor) yesterday. Runner beans are like old-fashioned pole beans, and you grow them the same wayup something.

Now all we need is warmer soil and the right moon phase!

Now all we need is warmer soil and the right moon phase!

The something our beans will climb is a teepee I built in early May from some very sturdy maple posts. My friend Dan has a maple tree the size of the Alamo in his back yard, and it does nothing but sprout more suckers. He lives in the tree and spends his life cutting these branches off as they grow. Not really, but almost. Dan let me take a bunch of them home, and I leaned them together and tied them at the top. Pioneers used to tie three poles together the same way, so I hear, but I actually used six poles so that when the beans cover it there will be enough verdant, shady space on the inside for Mara and her friends to hide in.

Scarlet Emperor bean seeds. They're beautiful! They make you want to play Mancala with them.

Scarlet Emperor bean seeds. They're beautiful! They make you want to play Mancala with them.

The teepee has been ready and waiting for weeks. The soil wasn’t warm enough for bean germination until just recently, and I’m big on planting by the phases of the moon (I just like the idea), which meant — for beans and other crops that grow aboveground — that we’d have to wait until after the new moon, which was last weekend.

In a decade I'll have to cajole, wheedle and pay them cash. But right now, they bring willing hands to the work.

In a decade I'll have to cajole, wheedle and pay them cash. But right now, they bring willing hands to the work.

Mara’s friend Lily came over to play yesterday, and while the two had fresh energy I let them drop the beans in the holes and cover the holes with soil. I had fertilized with bone meal just before. We sowed five or six beans around the base of each pole.

I expect the gravity of the waxing moon to yank those first shoots right out of the ground. I’ll keep you posted.

 

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