I thrive on beans of all different sorts! Since going to a plant-based (vegan) eating plan, beans have become even more important to me than before, even after liking them my whole life of 60 years.
Beans are cheap! Even so, they are so easy to grow that it seems like it just has to become a part of my gardening plans to grow them myself. This ensures me that they are grown organically and fresher from soil to fork.
Last weekend, on my backyard garden conversion project, I cleared out an area on my fenceline to start my “bean bed.” Voila:
I have some old fence posts already in place from a previous dog run we had. I will use these posts this weekend to string with some kind of wire mesh so the vine beans can climb. I need to pull some weeds and plenty of organic matter to the bed to prepare the soil for the babies I sprouted this week.
Aside from the indoor sprouting method I’ve used for awhile, I decided to sprout some beans in soil, some of which will be used for eating immediately, and others to provide plants for my new bean bed.
I made use of some of the clamshell packaging that many of my “bought” fruits and veggies come in. I feel really great about saving this for something useful now. They have built-in drainage, and each clamshell provides you with TWO planting beds by cutting the top off the packaging. The shallow side (the top) is PERFECT for “no-soil” sprouting, using paper towels to lock in the moisture.
I chose among the beans I have in my pantry: mung, adzuki, and lentil. Here are some pictures of the sprout preparation:
Since I didn’t have any compost yet, I used a bagged potting soil.
Lentils for eating immediately, on wet paper towel. I also covered this with another paper towel and kept these moist throughout the past week. I have sprouts ready for eating this weekend.
Lentils, using soil sprouting method. These are sprouting as well, for this weekend. I will use some of these for planting when they get big and strong.
Mung beans, using paper towels, non-soil, method. These sprouted within two days. Tasted some today, and they are much richer tasting than the indoor “Mason jar” method I’ve been using. Delicious!
I love these adzuki beans. These are ready for the plate this weekend, too. (Wet paper towel method)
Kept all covered with wet paper towels, watered twice a day if needed in our 90+ temps this week. Ready to go!
This is the shelf that faces the south side of my house. It gets good sun, but is protected from the wind and hard rains when we get them. This will become my “greenhouse” during the colder months, and I will install some temporary heat lamps and plastic covers to keep the project going.
I don’t have finished product pictures yet, but will harvest most of the eating sprouts this weekend. My starter plants are coming along well. I will transplant them into small containers for a couple of weeks before planting in my new bean bed.
It’s late in the traditional growing season, but, this is Texas, and we don’t have freezing temps, usually, until late October, and they are usually mild until mid-November at the earliest. I should get some harvest by the time the colder temps come into play.