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Tuesday June 25th 2019Tim Candler9

 

    Bean Picking season will start any day now. Hours and hours and hours of Bean Picking. And hours and hours of "Putting Beans By" which is a polite way of describing sweating over a heat source, risking third degree burns by cinder or Pressure Cooker, first degree burns from hot glass, then having to run out for canning lids and while visiting the grocery store seeing a shelf full of tinned beans, each can priced at well under a dollar. A very depressing realization, and so a gardener draws comfort from the sure knowledge that his Beans are decent upright Beans unadulterated by the machinations of corporate welfare and greed, they are his pain equity, his contribution to the happiness of the planet, a warm cozy feeling. Which isn't actually accurate. The heat source is either gathered twigs for the outdoor stove, the inefficient blaze doesn't exactly trap carbon, or from an electric supply that comes from a coal burning electric power station.

 

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    I'd roughly estimate that per Bean Put By, my Bean contributes more CO2 to the atmosphere than a corporate Bean. However I can try to draw some comfort from nut-eating growing practices. The Beans here are organically grown in lovingly hand turned soil without benefit of chemical fertilizer, much cooing, days of careful hand weeding, and in terms of insect control it's all hand done by a highly experienced Non-Beneficial Insect Picker, hour after dangerous hour of it. In the end my price per Bean Put By, including minimum wage for labor, capital outlay, would probably be twenty to thirty, maybe forty times the price of a corporate Bean, and you don't get that kind of incredibly high quality thirty dollar can of Beans in a grocery store because no one's stupid enough to buy it, unless they are so well bred they've never had to think about what a dollar is. Fortunately, we gardeners are a dour people, we are more clockwork than sentient, wind us up and we just keep going until slowly, slowly we come to a grinding halt, trip, fall, then take the last breath being stared at by a platoon of Tomato Horn Worms. Don't get me wrong, it's a proud and noble calling, so better to keep it honest.

  

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