Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Growing Beans With Children

Beans, Beans, Beans

Dwarf bean seeds can be grown indoors on a windowsill or our doors with frost, wind and bug protection. They grow fast and each child can care for them, watch them grow and should get a small harvest from them.

When your children care for them and see them grow they may even eat them if prepared with our yummy recipe.

What you need:

  • Empty milk containers, cordial bottles, soft drink bottles, large plastic drink cups
  • Ready made seed-raising mix or soil
  • Labels- cardboard and clear tape, icy pole sticks, twigs and masking tape, tape on outside of container
  • Bean seeds
  • Water can/bottle and spray bottle

1. Cut and wash out container, make some holes in the bottom and fill with soil to just under the brim. Put in labels if using sticks/twigs.

2. Make a small hole 1-2cm deep and drop in seed using clean tweezers (try not to use hands as germs can carry to the seed)
Cover the seed with the soil and give a light water.  Set in place

3. Every day or when soil looks dry give a light spray with water using spray bottle (too much water may rot the seed)

4. Within two weeks the seeds will sprout and start to grow.  They can be left in these containers or transplanted when 10-15cm tall.
If they are kept outside a cover to protect them from snails and slugs should be put on overnight (the top of the containers are good for this)
If attacked buy bugs spray with a method from our pest control blog.

5. Harvest when the beans are finger size.  Each plant should grow between 5-10 beans.  

6. When growing is over cut plant from soil level and tip soil into a bigger container and leave for two weeks then turn. Add regular soil being the same quantity and use for further plants. Bean roots leave a great deal of nitrogen in the soil which is good for soil aeration.

Get the children to keep a record of the growth from seed to harvest.

If plants have a problem growing set about trying to figure what the problem is as a discovery.

E.g. what do beans need to grow?
Is there enough light?
Too much or too little water?
Are there any bugs on the plant?
Learn signs of deficiencies

Here is an idea for using drink containers for this purpose

Yummy bean sauce
If you serve the beans with this sauce your children are bound to eat them and even ask for more. You can easily double this recipe to make more.
  • Melt 30g butter, add 1 diced garlic clove and 1 crushed chicken stock cube, cook low heat for 1 min, add 1-2 tsp flour cook till golden. 
  • Put to this 1/2 cup water and 1 tsp lemon juice boil till it thickens then add 1/2 tsp of each basil, sugar and soy sauce, salt and pepper and cook for 1 min
  • Add 4 chopped shallots or spring onion greens cook another min and enjoy. 
Chop beans into 5-10cm pieces. Boil for 5-10 mins and  serve with sauce.

Another option
Serve with cheese sauce or mix with 2min noodles so it’s yummy to eat.

Growing beans can be a great way to start your children in the garden. They grow fast so children will not have to wait a long time before they see any change. If they enjoy it you can begin to grow some different vegetables that they have a part of.

To make the garden more interesting you can design a bug hunt, teaching the safety and dangers of garden bugs. Be sure to have gloves and a container for the catch. Remember to let them go!

Enjoy and have fun

Thank You For Reading

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