Wow, what a series of beautiful days! I know we have had quite a bit of rain but, oddly, Whiting’s Pond is surprisingly low.

It’s been another busy week of harvesting. I pulled up a bed of green beans and gleaned the remains of the summer planting. It was a satisfying taste. Most of the beans were “beany” but no matter. I like to cook them with a bit of pork for quite a while. They are very flavorful and remind me of my grandmother’s cooking.

While picking, I thought about one of my not-too-attractive character defects: smugness. Earlier this summer, I mentioned that late-planted green beans avoid infestation by the Mexican bean beetle. Alas, I spoke too soon. Sure enough, I had them.

Often, if I have a bumper crop of the over-ripe beans, I pressure-can them for winter. Pints take 20 minutes at 10 pounds pressure, so they are a bit overly-tender but full of flavor and comforting for a mid-winter meal.

Marie has a food dehydrater that she has yet to use. We are attempting some dried tomatoes. The variety is Principe Borghese, obviously Italian. Supposedly, the Italian farmer pulls the entire plant and hangs it over a fence to dry in the sun. I think our climate is too humid for this method so hopefully, the dehydrater will perform.

I planted a package of country gentleman corn. Between the tropical winds, raccoons and earworms, I was able to eat five cobs of corn from the entire planting. The seed package was still cheaper than five cobs of locally grown at the farm stands. I will say it was delicious.

Country gentleman is an heirloom white variety with the classic shoe-peg grains irregularly set. It keeps its sweet flavor for some time after picking.

Years ago, when the children were small, my friend Sharlee and I bought bushels of corn from Morning Glory Farm before it was the enterprise it is today.

We spent days cutting it from the cob and canning it. Wonder how we found the time, what with children under foot. Then again, there is much to be said about youthful energy.

The flower gardens are at their late-summer best. Dahlias are glorious, especially with goldenrod weeds mixed in. By the way: ragweed, not goldenrod, is the culprit for causing fall allergy symptoms.

One of my favorite fall plants is lespedeza. It is a member of the pea family. There are two large ones in full bloom that are tumbling over the wall at Polly Hill’s. A smaller but equally nice one is at the entrance to Heather Gardens.

Another annual holding its own this late in the season is coleus. Just a reminder: if you pinch out the flowers as they emerge, the leaves stay large and more attractive. Also, a few cuttings in a jar of water will produce winter houseplants that can be popped back into the after-last-frost spring garden.

My mother, a Depression-era child, was a young woman during World War II. There was a nationwide effort to support the war. Patriotism was at its best. She saved tinfoil, which she added to balls of it. She still did it into her old age, although I’m not sure what was done with it.

What has happened to that community spirit, the “we’re all in this together” attitude?

I’m speaking, of course, about the lack of cooperation around the worldwide pandemic. Watching some news clips of bad behavior around mask wearing is alarming at best and depressing at least. Our poor world!