Tag Archives: blueberries

Props for crops

Prop: n. something that holds up or sustains

Pole bean props - with twine

Pole bean props - with twine

With the help of my ex, I’ve created the necessary support systems for my bean-crop-to-be. Two 7′ pieces of scrap wood and four screws (cost $2.48) are now screwed to my raised bed, and soon the vines will be hauling ass up the strands of twine till they’re way out of my shrimpy reach at harvest time.

My family is famous (in our tiny circle of string bean fans anyway) for our Blue Lake pole beans. My parents grew so many that I swear my mom spent her entire summer slicing them (on the diagonal, if you please) and blanching them for a freezer full.

I’m not big on frozen beans but I make a mean dilly bean.

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Other crop prop projects:

My ex and I also encased my four LOADED blueberry bushes in a cage of bird-proof netting. The bushes are about six feet tall and at least that wide. This year I’m going to have to borrow freezer space again because my freezer will be berried out by mid-July.

I’ve encased my tomatoes in cages, which they will overrun within a month. Why do they make them so wimpy?

Finally, my ancient grape arbor is tottering under the weight of an unusually hyperactive vine. I’m going to be inundated come September. Maybe this year I’ll figure out an easier way to make raisins… (wine??). Meanwhile, after hacking back the grasping tendrils, I harvested a bag full of tender grape leaves I’ll try brining.

grape arbor

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Plump Perfection with pterostilbene: blueberries

My plumply perfect blueberries are at an end. I get a solid month-long run from July 4 to August 4, give or take a day or two. The harvest from four mature bushes in a climate they love lasts me a full year.  My freezer is stuffed with them; overflow baggies are in my neighbor’s freezer.

I eat them on my cereal every morning.  Supposedly they are full of nutritional goodies – anti-oxidants. A study in 2004 says they’re also good for lowering cholesterol because they contain pterostilbene – which is similar to resveratrol, another antioxidant identified in grapes and red wine.

Of course the new nutritional darling is beets.   I have a few planted but not enough to keep at bay whatever ails they prevent for more than a month.