The summer before had been dark and rainy, making for slim harvest in Betty’s garden. So this year she had planted extra of everything.
After a summer that alternated bright days with nourishing rain, everything grew like crazy — beans more than everything else put together.
Anya, Betty’s daughter, was soon sick of helping to harvest the sticky pods, trimming the green beans and wax beans, and shelling the kidney beans, conserving the one in old jam jars and switching baking pans of the other out from the oven on low to speed up drying.
“We don’t really have to eat beans every day until next harvest season, do we?” She asked plaintively, accepting another tray full of jars for her to put on the downstairs pantry shelves.
“Beans are good for you. A lot of protein.”
“A lot of farts, too.”
“Seriously, no-one will want to get near me. ’That’s the fart girl. She lives on beans and cabbage. Stay away.’” The white cabbage had done so well that there were plans for experiments for homemade sauerkraut. It made Anya shudder.
“You’ll be the healthiest girl in school!”
“Mum! Stop making fun of me!”
Betty hugged her daughter around the shoulders and kissed her temple. “Stop worrying. This is too much for us; we’ll give away quite a bit of it. Aunt Mildred will love them as a gift, Mrs Fletcher wants to trade for pasta sauce and chestnuts...”
“All right.” The offer of chestnuts mollified Anya somewhat. Seeing her mother pull a box full of hoarded, empty jars from the shelves, where they had sat for as long as Anya could remember, did not. “Is there no end to the beans?”
“Not any time soon,” Betty said cheerfully, drawing a groan from her daughter.