Temperatures the last few nights have been dipping down to below 40-degrees, and realistically, we could get a freeze any day now. While I have been overall unhappy with my garden this year, three things have done well...cherry tomatoes(how do you not have good luck with them), tomatillos, and in a completely shocking turn of events since September, my Scarlett Emperor Runner Beans.
Rather than wait for the freeze, I put the kids to work today pulling every viable looking bean and tomatillo off the plants. Figured I'd sort through them in the kitchen afterwards.
My daughter followed directions to the letter...she pulled every tomatillo larger than a marble off the three plants I have. Once I sorted everything I knew was too small, I was still left with about two and a half pounds of ripe/almost ripe tomatillos.
My plan for these is canning up a batch of Salsa Verde tomorrow.
As for the runner beans, after all the complaining I did about lack of production, we had pretty good output. Lesson #1 from runner beans, year one: If you think you want to eat these as 'green beans', you need to be Johnny-on-the-spot...these things go from nice little 4-inch fresh green beans to leathery seed pods in about 36 hours. Once they get more than 6-inches or so long, your options narrow...you can get a 'frencher' which basically shreds the green beans so that they are edible, or you let them go all the way, and harvest them so you can shuck them and dry the beans.
Which is what we did.
I'd say we got about 15 pounds of pods off the plants...kind of curious to see what that comes out to in terms of dried beans.
Rest assured, I'll report back when that is done. Given that you can buy 5 pounds of dried beans for less money than a cup of coffee costs, these better be some tasty, tasty beans.