The second bean planting is setting and sizing up nicely, but we didn’t have beans at the farmers’ market today, after a good first and second picking of the first crop over the last two weeks. With succession planting, snap beans are usually a continuous harvest once they start, right through to a killing frost (usually in September, but with row cover, now extended into October in the last couple of years—more of that global warming, I guess). This year, cloudy weather slowed growth and the timing didn’t work out for continuity. There are a couple of ways to insure non-stop beans. Planting really frequently doesn’t work, because if the plantings are too close together, like, only a week or two apart, any two are likely to sync up, either by germinating at different speeds, or catching up during growth (both due to weather), and you’ll have too much one week, and not enough the next. Over-planting is the easiest way to go: if you have a lot ready at once, usually you can hold in the field a week past optimum harvest time and still have good quality, that is, nothing too oversize or woody. Of course, harvesting when ready, then storing in a cooler is the surest way: beans do quite well in cool storage, a good week in the most casual cooler conditions. But of course, there’s fresh and there’s FRESH!