Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Christmas beans

Christmas beans are large lima type beans that have reddish splotches and marks on them. I had some left over from a package I'd bought at the farmer's market three years ago. Last year, I planted a few of them and they didn't do very well, but I got a little crop from them. This year, I picked out 10 beans from last year's crop and planted them.

Out of the ten Christmas beans I planted, only three came up. Of those, one died right away, leaving two healthy, stout bean vines. They grew all summer, filling a 5 X 5 trellis behind them.

Now, I don't usually count beans or anything else like that, but I was curious as to what kind of return they gave, so as the harvest came in, I counted the beans. (I know, I know...) There are still a few out there, but the frost is threatening closer and closer each night, so I'm not counting on them (no pun intended!). If they hold out a few more days, I'll pick them green and let them dry inside.

Anyway, back to bean counting. At this point, I have 140 Christmas beans. If you figure the 10 beans that I planted originally, that's an increase of 14 times, which isn't bad. God only promised a 10 fold increase (to Jacob). If you figure the actual two beans that grew, however, it's an increase of 70 times!

It seems like there should be a lesson in that.

If we try and try and try again, the reward will come. If you have cut costs, then found yourself spending more again... try again. And again if you have to. If one thing doesn't work (or grow, like my beans), another will. Sooner or later, you'll realize an amazing result.

Plant your Christmas beans, dream your dreams, set your goals and you'll see the results come in, in due time.


  1. Pat,

    A thoughtful post, thanks!

    BTW, bean seeds can withstand the frost and even freezing and still be good for seed for next year. So, even if your vines get nipped, the seeds will still be fine for seed stock. I've often harvested seed beens from frosted and/or frozen vines and I always have volunteer beans come up from the seeds that went to waste in the previous year's garden after withstanding harsh midwest winters of below zero temps. I'm the 4th generation to raise beans originally grown by my great grandmother and saved by family members throughout the years. I'm working diligently to help my son be the 5th generation!

    Every bean counts!

    Best regards,

  2. Thanks, Emily! I won't worry so much about the beans left out there, then. I'd like for them to mature as much as possible before frost hits, though.

    "Every bean counts!" That sounds like a good rallying cry for all frugalites. :)

  3. Try and try until you succeed, hmm, i think I can do that. Good tip, didn't know those kinds of beans can withstand the cold.

  4. Andrew, first you have to plant your beans and dream your dreams. :)

  5. I'm just not a big fan of beans!

  6. Lawrence, you could count lentils, I guess, or green peas, or... tomatoes? ;)


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