LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — On July 8, I planted a row of bodacious sweet corn just shy of being 100 feet long. Brothers Keeter and Andy had visited over the previous weekend and Keeter had convinced me I could plant mountaineer half runners and corn at the same time without having the bean vines smother the corn.
I usually let my corn get nearly knee high before I plant beans in it but I figured what the heck and what’s to lose because the flying rats, also known as starlings, had already destroyed over half of my early corn crop.
So at every foot or so of row, I dropped two bean seeds and I believe it’s safe to say every one of them came up. In a few places the vines are so thick that it looks like they may have come up twice. We’ve harvested all the corn and never saw a blackbird in it because, I believe, the bean vines had it camouflaged. We wound up with as much corn from the one row as we did off three of the early crop.
By the time the corn was ready, I’d already picked one five gallon bucket full of beans and over the course of three weeks I’d picked three more. As with corn, what beans we don’t eat and squirrel away in the freezer we give to in-laws, out-laws, friends and neighbors.
After the corn was picked the bean vines got so heavy the corn stalks broke over everywhere an ear had been pulled so that now the corn is practically invisible and it looks more like a thick hedge row across the garden. Early last week, Loretta went out and picked a bushel basket heaped full and I got another bucketful. Lo has canned five quarts, frozen some and we’ve given both beans and corn to about everybody we know in three counties.