Sharing the Harvest the Easy Way

I did follow my own advice in the matter of the bush beans, planting only very short rows, but we are still being inundated. It’s all the fault of the obscene heat – it’s forcing the pole beans to start pumping ’em out much sooner than usual. These are late pole beans, they’re supposed to FOLLOW the bush beans, but evidently somebody forgot to tell them that. And of course like everything else you have to keep picking or they won’t keep beaning.

The thing to do at a time like this is to give ’em away, so I called the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley and sure enough, they maintain a huge list of pantries and soup kitchens – six counties’ worth – and are more than glad to help you find a few nearby. Their phone number is 845 534 5344, website’s, and the counties they cover are Dutchess, Orange, Putnam Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster.

It may take a couple of tries – last time I did this ( not around here) it took a while to find a place that could use garden extras: soup kitchens don’t always have enough workers to mess around with fresh produce, pantries can’t always store it. But this time there’s an easy solution. The food bank picks up leftovers at some farmers’ markets, so gardeners who coordinate it right can hand off the beans – or whatever else is in overflow mode – when they go to pick up eggs and cheese.

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