Monday, January 21, 2008

Old beans...

..make good bean soup, and will still 'hatch' into bean plants. We are on the 3rd floor (over the garage level) and have no yard or garden. Our balconies are FULL sun - which in Egypt, can be brutal. We really have no place for growing things, but I keep trying anyway and am trying to teach the kids a few things along the way.

I found this old bag of dry bean soup mix in the back of a drawer (no clue how it got there, but it must have been there a long time!). Dry beans are pretty stable though, so I decided to cook them anyway. Before starting the dinner, I let the kids pick 3 beans each to try and grow. The soup was very tasty, by the way.

We set the beans on wet paper towels in plastic baggies to retain the moisture. I wasn't sure if they could still grow, but they sprouted very easily, and after a few days, I moved the seedlings to a pot. The picture below shows the 5 plants that made it, after about 5-7 days in the dirt. The short, thick plant in the back is a navy bean, the tallest is a ?pinto? bean - the extremes were, of course, the beans Honor picked out (tallest, shortest, and a lazy no-show). Brian's are all neat, orderly, and the same size - I think he had a black-eyed pea, a black bean, and some other smallish bean. Logic and chaos - they even impose their personalities upon their plants!

Hopefully the plants will continue to do well. I am not too good with container gardening or even keeping houseplants alive. I will try to post updates later - if these poor little plants survive that long! It's been a good experiment for the kids though - they check their plants every day, and as the beans have been growing so fast, it's been rewarding and has kept the kids' interest.

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