Since we first began gardening we have grown beans. The children don’t really like to eat the beans but they have tried them. The main reason we grow beans is to create cozy sit spots. I have not found anything better than beans for climbing a trellis. This was what one of our sit spots looked like by mid summer;
By the end of the summer all three of the triangle trellises were so overgrown you could barely find your way inside — making them the perfect hideaway.
I only purchased bean seeds for the first year – we collected the beans from our garden each year and planted them the following years. Our bean supply is endless. We have two different kinds of beans. The basic green beans start as white flowers and have white seeds inside;
The Scarlet Runner beans grow from red flowers and they get very big;
They are very pretty – ranging from light pink to dark purple;
We have more scarlet runner beans than anything else in the garden. They make terrific ‘loose parts’ and often get used as props in dramatic play activities and as wonderful additions to ‘stew’;
Last week the children noticed that there were still a few dried beans left from the previous year when we had grown some in pots by the neighbours garage. The children had already picked most of them but there were some that were too high for them to reach.
The children asked me to get the prized white beans down for them and then they buried them in the gravel — I was perplexed. I asked them why they had done that. They answered “We hid them so the baby can’t find them.” I was pretty sure no one was going to be able to find them in all that gravel;
The following day the children dashed outside and started looking for their beans. After only a few seconds of digging they actually found one!?!?
I was astonished – apparently preschoolers are very much like squirrels in their ability to find their stash.
Next they buried some of the red beans. I commented that those ones would be easier to find. The children informed me that they were ‘planting’ these ones and they watered them too.
It is fall and these beans were planted in gravel. I was going to say that the beans would not grow — but I hesitated. I could be wrong. After all, these are magical red beans so maybe they will grow — we’ll just wait and see.