Thursday, 15 March 2018

Harvesting Hereboontjies

At last the wait is over. I can start harvesting my own Hereboontjies. The search for these illusive beans I described in the post, ‘Looking for the Goewerneursboontjie’.

The Hereboontjie
I planted two rows to maintain a stock of seeds for future planting and to have some to spare for cooking. It is always exciting to watch the cycle of development. From seed to seedling; from flower to fruit and finally to seed again. A complete cycle of life, where I can learn from my garden.

The beans in the garden
The green Hereboontjie
It was the story of the bean that first attracted me. This was followed by the search, discovering some, as well as how to prepare them. This process involved so many different people. Each person playing their part. Helping me to complete the story of the bean now growing in my garden. It is as though each of them added a chapter that now has completed full cycle.

The harvested dry beans
Everyone adds a layer to the story. The friend who piqued my interest in the bean when we were discussing C Louis Leipoldt’s description of its flavour. My sister, who found the bean on the West Coast and bought me two bags. I had the luxury of tasting them in a carefully prepared dish and planting the rest. The friends that shared special recipes for the bean after I posted the blog. My cousin finding more for me in the town of Swellendam and bringing some special beans that his mom kept. They look much like a variant of the Hereboontjie. I still need to plant them, but that will be another story. Then there are the friends, helping us to harvest the beans.

One bean has brought so many people together. This is what makes the Towerwater garden special. The special people in our lives that give freely of their support to our interests. Adding layers to a rich, but simple, life. I suppose the thing that should happen now is to have a long table, set in the garden where everyone involved in this story can join together in tasting a fare prepared from this harvest. That will be the best ending to this story.

For now, telling the story through the blog, is my gift. It is an expression of my appreciation for their involvement in our lives. For adding such richness in the search for a special bean.

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