The Beans

I planted the Scarlet Emperor Beans in peat pots on St. Patrick’s day, a few days earlier than in years past but not many. I don’t know if it’s all the love and care I bestowed upon their parents or because they are the progeny of the survivors of the Great Snow of September 2020, but these beans are challenging the infrastructure. I’ve never had beans grow so fast.

Four of them are already living in large pots and have had to go live in my studio where they only get afternoon light. Not enough, so they just get taller hoping to find some somewhere. The other seven are clinging to the east window but will soon outgrow their pots (featured photo). Today the large ones and I will begin the daily pilgrimages to the various gardens of the outside world but that’s not going to last long, either.

It’s been an unusually warm April and that’s part of the story here. But San Luis Valley spring is a tease and we can have a killing frost at any time. Two years ago on this day we got 12 inches of snow. And I still don’t know who they are, poets, bandits or beans. Anyway, in today’s Facebook memories was a photo of these beans grandparents, Hong Li.

Hong Li, my current beans’ grandparents, taking the sun in the garden of the 10,000 Iris and Johnny Jump-ups, 2018

Andrea, whose blog is One Letter Up, sent me an article sometime back about bean intelligence. It’s a fascinating article that discusses research that shows that beans have “intent,” in other words, they look for ways to support themselves. French Bean Plants Show Signs of Intent It made me think that my beans, particularly last year when I spent a lot of time with them, understood that I was helping them in their quest for altitude and the opportunity to make seeds. These current beans grew up with that awareness. It probably seems crazy but these beans just seem JOYFUL!

That said, I’d better start hauling them all outside to enjoy the morning sun.

29 thoughts on “The Beans

  1. It’s funny that you should write this post today, as I have been concerned about the rapid growth of my beans. The article is an interesting read, and something I have wondered about. It always seems to me that when I try to guide tendrils to the supports, particularly peas, that they seem to reject my help. They are like teenagers doing the exact opposite just because.

  2. We had a heavy rain one day last week and the next day everything had grown at least a foot! Weird weather. The beans are looking great!!

  3. These beans make me happy, Martha. Their intellectually “intent” does not surprise me. Living things find their way. And I want to add that do have the best caretaker in the world. I’m sure that makes a huge difference. I went to vote this morning and came back to water my yard. And then mowed. We are at 77 today. Tomorrow possibility of severe storms with hail. And now, marching by me outside, and a few inside, are big carpenter ants. That’s not a good sign for possible water under my house. Water heater leaked again. A man came and installed an expansion tank. Taking care of the house, and Finley, seems to be just enough to keep me on my toes always. Give your beans, and all other kids, a hug from Finn and me. Enjoy the warm weather. I love your drawings and what a cool greenhouse you’ll have! πŸ€πŸΆπŸ’š

  4. Mercy those beans are huge! Sparky is now harvesting arugula and kale from last year’s crop. That has just knocked $10 off the weekly grocery bill! I’ll suggest that he start his beans inside but he was resistant last year to do so….

  5. These beans are not just joyful, I think they are profoundly grateful to you and the care you gave to their parents and the grand-beans that came before. They are growing and growing because they know they are in a safe place to reach up high. When you feel safe, it can make all the difference. Beans and Humans alike. ❀️

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