Category Archives: farm update

Fava Beans Farm Update

It is December 19th and we have had quite a few nights in the lower 20s. The fava beans planted outside are still growing and I will gather more tops today when hopefully the temperature gets up in the 50s.

Fava beans are not supposed to live under 26 degrees and I can’t understand why these ones keep growing. They never did before. It’s ok though. I’ll take all the tops I can get!

I will be able to report soon on how the last kitchen experiment is going with hydrophonic sprouts of fava beans. We’ll see if it works better than the last one. There has got to be a way for people to make their own without having to grow a garden!

There there is a will, there’s a way!!

With love,

Aunt Bean

Special Needs Rabbit

We now have a special needs rabbit on the farm. Our Thumper became paralyzed in his back legs. We are not sure why. He is eating and dragging himself around in the walkways of the greenhouse over soft grass-clippings.  We are trying to make him a support with wheels so he can get more exercise. He is so sweet.

He has only been like this for 11 days and could still have trouble with complications other than his legs. But, we are doing the best we can for him. I put a couple of the bunnies sired by him in the greenhouse to run about yesterday. They are five plus weeks old now and so cute. He really got excited and interacted with them. It was fun to watch them racing down the walkways  between the raised beds. The only problem was that they were having so much fun and were then hard to catch to put back with their mother again.

I pray you are staying warm and well and may this be a blessed Christmas for you all!

With Love,

Aunt Bean

Fall Fava Beans Farm Update

Picked my first fava bean  plant tops from the greenhouse experimental patch (which are doing beautifully so far). Many people have asked how many fava beans would they have to grow to make tincture.  I have 2 raised beds in the upper garden still producing…counted the plants (74) and gathered 2 Cups of fava tops from them on Saturday.  These 2 Cups dried and crushed were just under 1/2 Cup to mix with brandy and make tincture…so that will make approximately 1/3rd of a peanut butter jar of tincture. (which will probably be enough for my doses for a month or so) You can harvest “tops” from the plant about every week after they start to flower…so good healthy plants may give you 3, 4 or 5 weeks of picking new tops of side shoots depending on weather conditions.

I GROW MANY MORE PLANTS THAN THESE 2 RAISED BEDS. Also, I grew these plants only about 4 inches apart in a row and 8 inches between rows…..planted late just to have for tincture tops and not for beans.   If you are growing them for beans…they need to be at least 6 inches apart and 10 to 12 inches between rows (2 rows together and then 16 inches before the next two rows to make a good walking space/kneeling space for harvesting. They will keep growing down to 26 degrees.

We picked our first yellow summer squash out of the greenhouse on Friday and used it on a delicious homemade gluten-free pizza with fresh sweet peppers still coming in from the garden. (Also dried tomatoes, onions, garlic and cut up blue lake bush green beans/ tomato sauce  and a smidge of cheese). YUMMY and healthy too.

Hurricane Sandy is on it’s way and they are predicting a cold spell this week with snow….but only down to freezing the end of the week…we’ll see if the field plants mind snow on them.

Blessings….Stay warm ..

Aunt Bean

Update on Aunt Bean’s Fava Beans Farm

A lot has been happening on the fava  beans farm. There are several little raised beds of fava beans growing…including, surprisingly enough, a few fava beans plants in the greenhouse under severe heat. The only thing I can figure with this is the humidity, because of the condensation on the inside of the plastic.

Sometimes when I walk in my glasses completely steam up for a few seconds (like when opening an oven door to peek in). Anyway, the favas look healthy…it’s a micro climate in there, as long as it is watered things grow well. So we’ll see if favas can make it to a harvest this way.

I am busy making raised beds …getting ready to plant bush beans /pole beans/spinach/carrots tomatoes /sweet peppers/ cabbage /broccoli/Brussel sprouts/ kiwi etc…

Also trying to make new plants from my existing ones….fig/ grape/ roses/ comfrey, etc. Have  put in seeds of the last papaya that I now have  fermenting…

Half of the greenhouse is now ready to plant. It will take a week to clear and make beds of the last half…a lot of work digging the ground/making beds, hauling in soil from outside and probably going for another load of compost to make it more fertile and loose.

May God Bless You !!

Aunt Bean

What is Going on with Fava Beans at Bean Acres?

Yesterday 2 rows of very late fava beans were planted…just for the tops for tincture. Also planted 24 fava beans in the greenhouse to see if they can tolerate the heat if watered and mulched well. I know I will have to invest in shade cloth for part of the greenhouse but , it is full of exciting possibilities for the winter months.
I am in the middle of an experiment …a totally kitchen experiment…that I hope will work for an l-dopa supplement.  Will let you know the outcome in a couple of weeks…whether it is worth repeating or not.

We have 2 new additions at Bean Acres…..charming little bunnies, growing quickly named Thumper and Cocoanut (my 11 yr old grand daughter named this one). They are precious and draw visits from all ages – especially children.

It was great to be able to clean the pen and ground below and have fertilizer to put in the holes I dug for hardy Kiwi yesterday. They will be happier for it too. Dad helped me put up treated 4×4’s for posts and plastic trellises for the kiwis and a wonderful arbor at the entrance to the garden for my 2 chocolate vines…it looks so pretty & invites people into the garden.  The fig tree is covered with medium sized and tiny figs.  It is huge and beautiful. I planted a baby tree from it below the house yesterday and hope to get another one to try inside the greenhouse. 

We have put up lots of corn, green beans, rhubarb and strawberries from harvests and the sweet peppers will start maturing soon. Also getting some lima beans now   and okra…which I love to eat raw as I work and GRAZE. We have had a lot of deer in the garden, but they seem to just nibble tops off the sweet potato vines and go on.

OH, there are a couple MONSTER VINES in the garden this year. You would have to see them to believe it. They are bushel basket gourds. I grew four vines last year and they didn’t want to come up and really didn’t go very far, fruit barely reaching half their usual size (bushel basket size) before frost. These last 2 seeds I started in the greenhouse to see if they might get a better start and put them in a different location.

I think these 2 plants could cover a city block by frost!  I keep tearing off  (breaking them completely off the plant) vines that are trying to vine up and around blueberry bushes, little cherry trees, row of tomatoes and my asparagus and it doesn’t seem to hurt the rest of the gourd plant at all. So, I guess I’ll just keep it in check, protecting the other plantings from being DEVOURED by the monster!!!

Guess I should take a picture now and at frost or no one will believe me how far they have gone already…and they are covered with apple size gourds right now, and a few softball size ones.  I hope they will be marketable for baskets and planters and  to people that like to paint gourds……Bean Acres.could use a cash crop!!

Keep SMILING ….for when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you       ……………
HUGS from Aunt Bean

Storms at the Farm

Boy did we have storms Friday nite.  Water came in torrents and we had a river flowing in front of the house and down thru the lower garden…carpeting in the upper garden paths washed down and rolled up and piled up. Where the yard dips off and the lower garden starts,
there was a little spot of white water.

If I could have gotten to the barn and got my kayak…could have rode all the way to the road. All roads were flooded. It was really something.  Lots of clean up and repair to do in garden, but GOD IS GOOD..

It didn’t take the house/barn or scare the poor little rabbits to death (would have me if I’d been a tiny little bunny in a metal cage /with a metal roof and lightning everywhere!!

By Saturday night, it was dry enough to pick beans again. It’s all good. 

God Bless

Aunt Bean

Growing Fava Beans with 24 hour a Day Security Guards

There are no fences which protect Aunt Bean’s Fava Bean plants from exploitation  by deer, foxes and rabbits. How does she protect her valuable fava beans from being eaten by uninvited guests? Watch the video to discover her secret.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Pioneers of Recovery

[flashvideo filename=videos/favascarecrow.flv image=videos/favascarecrow.jpg /]

A New Treatment for Constipation

Just a quick note to let you know that I have come across something else that is helping two of my difficulties: Organic Blackstrap Molasses. I was researching to see if it is healthy or not, because it is a byproduct of sugar cane. The information said it was good for acid reflux and constipation.

Constipation has been a problem since my diving accident in 7th grade (when my foot drag first appeared). I don’t have acid reflux (have very rarely)  But, have a problem with the “door” to the stomach not opening to receive food or liquids sometimes.

I thought, that’s the same area at least needing help … can’t hurt to try it. Well, I have taken a teaspoon every day for a week or so and my bowels are moving much better and the digestive system is cooperating also.

Fermented papaya still a major blessing.  Also still eating stewed rhubard and strawberries.

Favas in the 50′ covered raised bed are starting to flower. I planted 3 raised beds with favas on Monday in a cold rain (about 100 sprouting seeds).  So, this year’s garden is on it’s way.   I should have a lot more planted by now, but the weather is not cooperating.

God is good, we still have tincture from last year to go on.

I have just enjoyed “Howard’s blog on Chi Gong….interesting enough….I do alot of the same stretches with no involvement in yoga, etc.   The stretches & torquing my muscles (like full body isometrics…using my muscles against each other) have been part of my life since about 2003.  Perhaps that is a major part of my not succumbing to my symptoms of PD/ along with a mostly vegetarian diet. I eat eggs, a small amount of deer meat occasionally/ and fish plus dance /do hard work in the garden/ play music and sing.

God is so good.

Blessings from Aunt Bean

Spring Update on the Farm

Greetings from TN.  We had a beautiful day today, up to 70 degrees, but we will have more cold weather for sure.  I have planted my first fava beans for 2011.  The ones that I planted in the 50 feet raised bed with hoops and a row cover are finally starting to grow.  They have been sitting kind of dormant since planted in November….they must have gotten the signal from nature that it is finally time!  They are beautiful and I crawled down the middle of the 2 rows and weeded.

Also, was able to weed and remulch the 100 asparagus plants that were started from seed last year,  The spears are starting to pop thru the ground now.   A few spears broke off and were immediately enjoyed fresh and raw ….delicious!

We still haven’t found anyone to work at moving the big greenhouse that the neighbor gave us…but, there is a new person coming to look at it on Monday.  His wife has PD.    He helped a couple of days in the garden last summer, and we hope he will have a good idea how to get started.

I am looking forward to having more beautiful days to enjoy digging, planting, harvesting. Have started making a few arbors to plant vines on and create shaded places for people to sit thru-out the garden.

Also,  hope to find a source for old carpet to turn upside down and lay in the pathways…making a  smooth pathway for wheelchairs to travel on. I’ve read that the old carpet will hold up for several years before falling apart.   I will have a lot of work just keeping the raised beds weeded, without constantly fighting the weeds and grass growing in the pathways (which will be wide enough for 3 people side by side/ wheelchairs , and a wider loop that a golf cart and wagon can go thru to haul water/ mulch, etc…)

Aunt Bean