Saturday, February 18, 2012

Green Bean Pickin' Machine!

Green beans may seem like a simple vegetable, but they play a big part in our life here on the farm.  As you will soon find out, there's more to the tiny green bean than meets the eye!  

In the summer, I like to think of myself as a "green bean pickin' machine"!  I like this title so much that I even wrote a song about it!  A row of green beans can seem ten miles long when you're picking them in the blistering, hot, summer sun.  I always start off well enough, but somewhere around the middle of the row, I start walking on my knees.  By the end of the row, I'm usually scooting along on my seat - and that's just row number one.  Usually there are somewhere around eight to ten rows to make it through.  Who needs a fancy gym membership when you can pick green beans?!

Needless to say, the job is long and hot.  Eventually, Joey and I (and whatever unsuspecting family member we can rope into picking) get all the green beans picked.  We love to can fresh green beans for the winter and they are a staple item on our farmer's market table during the summer months.  At the farmer's market, green beans have taught us some valuable lessons in social skills.  

Most folks that frequent our booth at the market have grown and picked green beans before.  Needless to say, they are thrilled to pay $3.00 for a heaping quart box of our fresh green beans.  They're even happier that they are grown without any synthetic chemicals, and are thrilled when Joey puts an extra handful of beans into their sack to "top it off" before he hands it to them!  

But....there are always one or two folks that seem to want to be hard to please.  Those folks don't like the price of the green beans, or the way the green beans look, or the way the quart box is filled, or the color of my apron, or....well, I think you get the idea.  

Instead of being rude, we try to smile politely and explain why things are the way they are at our booth.  Sometimes this helps and sometimes it doesn't.  Either way, it's a lesson in getting along with others.  

Green beans are good to sell at the farmer's market to help earn some money for our farm, and they also help out with the family finances in another way.  

I mentioned earlier that we typically sell a heaping quart box of green beans for $3.00.  I also mentioned that they are one of my least favorite vegetables to pick in the hot summer sun.   So it just seems natural that when I am trying to decide if I should make a purchase or not, I use a complex mathematical formula that I call "Green Bean Conversion".  

To use Green Bean Conversion, I simply translate the purchase price of an item into boxes of green beans.  For example, if I am thinking about making a $30.00 purchase, that would translate to 10 heaping boxes of green beans that would have to be picked.  

More often than not, this formula quickly stops me from wastefully spending money.  I even think that it might be a useful formula that our government would like to consider to help with their spending problems.  If all the congressional folks had to pick enough green beans to cover their expenditures, I think that would really help them to make wise choices about how they spend our countries money.  

You may not have realized that green beans have so many uses!  From social skills to the family finances, green beans can help with almost everything.  You can get in shape while picking them, improve your social skills while selling them, curb your spending habits by doing a mathematical formula with them, and.....the best part....enjoy a delicious meal while eating them!  

Some of our freshly picked green beans!

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