The deeper slant of the sun … cool mornings … earlier evenings … still warm earth … it must be autumn in the San Francisco Bay Area and the beginning of the growing cycle in the raised vegetable bed in my front yard.
Most people look forward to the end of winter and the beginning of spring to plant their garden, but not me. Fall is the perfect time in my vegetable bed—when sunlight, water, and enriched soil unite to produce the miracle of life.
Last year October, I planted fava bean seeds as usual. Fava beans need maybe four to six hours of sunlight (compare that to green beans, which need at least eight hours). The plants grow slowly all winter producing tall stalks chockful of hundreds of green pods filled with fresh, yummy fava beans.
Earlier this year, I harvested the pods throughout the spring and early summer, saving about 100 dried beans in a glass jar to use for my next generation. Last month (October), you could see me out in the vegetable bed yet again digging in compost and planting my next crop of fava beans. I sprinkled the bed with water occasionally and looked longingly every day at the ground, hoping and wishing that my tiny hidden children under the soil were snuggling into their spots and sending out roots.
And then … just yesterday … they all simultaneously peeked their little green heads out from the earth! What a mystery, miracle, and dream come true! Bravo!