Possibly the most exciting time of the garden year is when I pick my shelling beans. Planted in May when the soil gets nice and toasty, the bush beans grow like snap beans at first – and can be eaten as such if you are not waiting for the dry September jewels.
Left on the vine the pods yellow, then dry to a crackly, rattling finish. I pick them as soon as they start to rattle in their tawny pods. I split open the husks and – voila! – jewels inside. (Click on photo for enlarged view)
Every few days I head out to the garden to find more pods that rattle. I bring them inside to dry completely over another few days. Then I pop them and store the seeds in bowls where I fondle them until the harvest is complete.