Yesterday, the Lone Star Baby and I took advantage of a short period of rainy coolness to harvest my dried purple cow pea pods. It was really fun to have her enthusiastically helping me with something in the garden like I always dream the girls will (mostly they like to give me appreciative comments about how cool the gardens are, not help in them or eat from them, though).
Inside, we shelled the beans and got a beautiful pile of dried cow peas.
And a tiny pile of pinto beans (most of the pinto beans are still growing).
While we really enjoyed this activity, I was disappointed in the yield. I had a lot of bean plants - they took up most of my growing space - and they grew beautifully and were just covered with bean-filled pods. When shelled, though, we got enough beans for just a couple of family meals, maybe. Slightly less than you find in one of those small plastic bags of dried beans at the grocery store. I really enjoyed growing them and they grew so well, but...it may be that bean growing is not going to be a reasonable hope for giving our family a little protein independence in the event of drastic futures. I may need to go back to trying to convince Lone Star Pa to allow me to get some laying hens.