Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Around here, there's one sure way to tell it's Spring.

Beans!  Sadly, these beans didn't last too long.  Our tall, glass drinking glasses are still packed...somewhere.  I had to use a small juice glass and the bean stalk didn't have enough support.  We'll try again once the glasses are discovered.

The kids love watching their beans grow.  Here's what we did:
1.  Buy some beans!  We used the little white ones (navy, or Great Northern Beans...I think they're the same thing)
2.  Soak the beans in water overnight (do not skip this step!)
3.  Assemble a tall drinking glass made of clear glass, paper towels, a sheet of copy paper, and water
4.  Bend the copy paper into a tube shape (like you're making a telescope) and place it inside the glass.
5.  Loosely crumple up several paper towels, and stuff the paper-lined glass with them.
6.  Sandwich your beans (2 or 3 work well) between the rolled-up copy paper and the drinking glass.  Stuff the beans about 3-inches from the bottom of the glass, and position them evenly around the glass (they will need room to grow)
7.  Moisten the paper towels with tap water.  It's ok if the copy paper gets wet.  We're not going for soaking wet, but it does need to be quite damp.
8.  Place glass on window sill and wait for sprouts!  This will likely happen the very next day.
9.  Check daily to make sure the paper towels stay moist.

If you decide to plant the bean outdoors, you should expose it to the outdoor environment over several days.  Leave it outside for a few hours at a time, then bring it back indoors.  After a few days of that, plant it in the soil.  We haven't had much luck with the outdoor bean-growing because we're just not that patient.

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