Learning with Beans





Our week about planting seeds was actually back in March. I've been waiting to share it because we've been waiting, ever so patiently waiting, for the seeds that we planted to sprout. It's not happenin'. Have I told you about my gardening brown thumb? Oh yes. I struggle to keep plants alive, let alone getting them to start from seed. It is most definitely not my strong suite. So, I'm just going to embrace it and move on to more fruitful endeavors.

We started the week by reading The Carrot Seed by Krauss and A Seed is Sleepy by Aston (only reading the narrative of this one and skipping all the little factoids). Then it was off to the grocery store to get some beans. My original intent was to let Silas choose his own assortment of beans from the bulk bins, but when I really looked at them, I realized that there were only a half dozen or so varieties represented. So, instead, we just scooped up some pre-mixed 32 bean soup mix.

The first thing that we did was to sort them. There were not, I'm sorry to say, 32 different beans present. We only counted 28, but some, I will admit, were hard to discern. Silas loved this, as he loves all things sorting-related. Of course, when he grew tired of it and was ready to move on, mama had to step in and finish the sorting, because you can't just leave a job like that half-finished, can you? They all must be sorted, right? (I don't have a problem, really I don't. Really.)

Then it was on to labeling. I try to keep our info-gathering as low tech as possible, so searching for pictures of the beans online was out. Luckily, I still had my Seed Saver catalog, which, of course, has beautiful photographs of every bean you can imagine. Together, Silas and I turned the pages, looking for matches. He delighted in asking me what the names were and his special job was sticking the label next to its respective beans.

We compared the cups of beans, finding which one had the most and which one had the least, counting along the way. We talked about the color and shape and size. We held them between our fingers and in our hands and talked about the way they felt.

Then, we picked out our favorite beans to sprout. Silas chose the Christmas lima beans, which I have to admit are pretty cool. I was a big fan of the Calypso with the Jacob's Cattle being a close second. So, we got out our trowels and planted them and Silas dutifully watered them every day. Well, we already know how that turned out.

Finally, we ate them! I have to say, this soup was fantastic. I never would have picked out or purchased this mix without the goal of using it for this exploration, but I'm so glad that I did. It's totally going into our regular meal rotation. Of course, I added ham, so that probably helped to up its delicious-factor. All-in-all it was a pretty good use of $3 worth of beans, wouldn't ya say?

1 comment:

  1. that's a lot of sorting!! and starting from seed is hard..... I am with you!

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