Posts tagged ‘beans’


Ladybugs are a good friend in any garden.  They eat aphids and other bad insects, so always be nice to them and thank them for their hard work in pest control.  Certain plants attract them including marigolds, oregano, corn, beans, squash and many more.

May 16, 2012 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Planting in Circles

Beans are one of the staple crops in our garden, providing valuable protein and vitamins for vegetarians and omnivores alike.  Most types of beans are hardy vines that will grow prolifically under the right conditions.  Because of their viny nature, they like to have something to climb on like a fence, some poles, a Tipi, or cornstalks.  We decided to build small tipis for our beans instead of the trellises we used last year.  Bamboo stalks from the yard of a good friend will the building material for our bean houses.  We started by planting beans in a circle; now they are sprouted and will soon send out long tendrils seeking for some support. Planting in circles is common in many three sisters gardens.  In a 3 sisters garden, corn beans and squash are co-planted in a traditional way to maximize efficiency of water, space and labor in the garden.

May 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm 2 comments

Staple Crops

The Beach flats, garden is a garden of sustenance, and our staple crops are corn, beans, and squash.  There are as many ways to plant these crops as there are gardeners, but many jardineros de la playa choose to intercrop their corn and beans.  This is an ancient practice that involves planting the corn and beans together, staggered in both time and space so that each plant gets what it needs from the other (with the help of their loving gardener).  The beans are a prolific vine that will climb anything they can get their tendrils on; while the corn is a towering giant that needs humans to survive.  The beans climb up the corn in their quest for the sun, providing vital nutrients to the soil that benefits both plants.  In some cases, gardeners plant squash at the base to provide shade which minimizes weed growth, and evaporation.  Corn beans and squash are known as the three sisters; between the three sisters there exists a symbiotic relationship that requires the guidance of loving caretaker.  To intercrop your corn and beans you must plant the corn 1 to 2 months ahead of the beans.  This gives the corn a head start that it needs to avoid strangulation by the overzealous beans.  When your corn is knee high, plant the beans between the corn, in the same row.  Some of the gardeners just use the corn for support; planting the corn and beans at the same time will give you a good harvest of beans, but not corn.  This is a good way to provide support for your beans without building a structure.


May 2, 2012 at 6:00 am 3 comments

Bean Sprouts

All over the garden one can find the work of diligent gardeners, leaping from the soil, in the form of bean sprouts.  These tasty garden treats will grow through the summer for a fall harvest.

May 1, 2012 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Planting Ojos del venado with the Rain

As you know en El Jardín de la playa, we plant for the love of working the land. We decided to do our best to plant with this weeks rain. This led us to our plot on Wednesday afternoon.

Our fellow gardeners made an awning over our picnic table. With the awning we can hang out in the garden during the rain and stay dry. After we entered the gate under the “ancient tree,” we greeted our friends and continued to our plot. The thick dark gray clouds above communicated to us all that they would burst soon.

Earlier in the day, a dear friend and bean farmer passed on knowledge regarding planting beans. Based on her words, we decided to plant our beans in a circle that will grow up a tipi made of bamboo poles. During the past years, our beans tended to be extremely healthy and strong. The tipi shape will support a high a yield and strong plants. In this manner, we planted black beans and ojos del venado, a type of Mexican pinto bean.

We plant the ojos del venado because of a man named Tío Pedro (Uncle Peter), also called Don Peter, and Pedro Jesus Marquez. Our garden exists today due to the work of this man. He sewed and reaped delicious, organic food from our garden for more or less 15 years. He consistantly discussed, “The love of working the land.” For whatever reasons, some people and American cultural media demean farm work. Tio Pedro worked with pride and facilitated farm working with pride and love in El Jardín de la playa. The people, plants, animals, and insects expouse gratitude to Tío Pedro and ojos del venado, the beans he offerred to us.

Although Tío Pedro cannot come to our garden anymore, his presence very much continues today. His past work enables us to work for the love of working the land and rest under the awning on the picnic table. Our community is very fortunate to have had Tío Pedro amongst us. Our ojos del venado grow in honor of him and all other organic bean farmers.

April 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm 2 comments

Direct Seeding

Direct seeding is a method for planting seeds that involves sowing them directly in the ground.  Some crops are well suited to direct seeding while others are not.  Factors that affect a plant’s ability to germinate include air and soil temperature, day length, moisture, soil content, microbial growth, etc.  Some seeds may come with an organic or non organic coating designed to combat pests that may damage your seeds before they sprout.  Various plants prefer different planting depths, so consult seed packets, or other sources if you are unsure.  Also different methods for planting and watering can affect the depth you should plant.

An important part of direct seeding is the process of thinning; or removing the weaker sprouts.  When you sow your seeds you should place more than you need because some won’t sprout, and others will be weak.  The process of thinning varies from plant to plant but with row crops you usually use the following method:

Sow seeds in row at 1/2 to 1/4 of the desired spacing.  For example: If your desired spacing is 3 feet, plant your seeds 1- 1.5 feet apart.  Once the seeds sprout, use your hand or a garden tool to remove the weaker sprouts, making sure each plant has the appropriate final spacing.  This will ensure that only the strongest sprouts are using up the precious soil and water in your parcel.

Here are some plants that are good for direct seeding: squash, cilantro, carrots, beans, sunflowers, marigolds.

Plants that are recommended for transplanting: chilis, tomatoes, gourds, melons, basil, oregano, thyme.

April 22, 2012 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

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