Since I put so much effort into making the garden as maintenance free as I could this year, my intention is to try not to have idle beds. This morning after animal chores, I harvested what I thought was the end of the peas, about a pint that I intended for dinner tonight.
After lunch, I decided that since they were no longer producing that the vines should be pulled, chopped, and used to create a new compost pile. The old pile was spread and a new garden box placed where it had been. The best spot was in the corner of the garden nearest the chicken run where I took down the inner fence and a wide spot exists. It is a convenient place since the soiled straw from the coop can be put over the fence easily in that corner. As the vines were reduced to a smaller more compact pile, I added a layer of spoiled straw from the coop, and a shovel full of compost to boost it along and repeated the layers until the new pile was created. The empty beds were supplemented with a good layer of the compost from the other side of the chicken run and replanted. The bed nearest the fence was planted with 4 more rows of bush green beans, and two rows of a non cold hardy Chinese Cabbage. The second bed is an experiment. It was planted with Ancho pepper seeded directly into the ground. Hopefully, they will germinate and provide a variety of hot peppers that I didn’t plant from starts this year. The other part of that bed is going to be basil, dill, and parsley to dry and save for winter. So my plan so far to not have idle beds is working.
As the vines were pulled, I realized that there were many hidden peas left, placed in a basket, and they were shelled to another quart of peas to be blanched and frozen for winter. I have a friend from the northern part of the UK and she says finding food after the harvest is called scrumping. If so, this was successful scrumping.