50,000 pounds of green beans!
I watched video of crews working to clean up the mess; shoveling, bulldozing, sweeping. How the hell do you put a dent in what amounts to a mountain of green beans?
My grandpa would have made leather britches.
It seemed my grandpa always had several strings of leather britches hanging around his kitchen. After he retired and before he became too ill to garden, he seemed to find a sense of self-worth in what he produced on the farm. Tomatoes, corn, potatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, beets--you name it, he probably grew it every year.
But he seemed most to love the variety of things one can do with green beans.
Threaded carefully with string and spaced evenly apart, green bean necklaces and bracelets hung all around his kitchen. Long strings, short strings, lengthwise or dangling, the leather britches hung for weeks as they dried out. They looked almost ornate to a 12-year-old kid who knew little about life other than that his grandpa hung the moon.
After they were dried and cooked, they were pretty tasty, too.
I haven't eaten leather britches since my grandpa died twenty years ago. Hell, I don't think I've even seen them since that summer, and that's rather sad. Making the dried beans was more a cultural practice than it was about feeding the family. And the skill to do it shouldn't end with me.
I think my kids are gonna learn a new craft later this summer.