The Bean Project

We’re growing beans!
February 4, 2008 by growinginpeace
Oh this is really, really cool. I had no idea if we could actually make dried beans sprout in late January. I thought for sure our house would be too cold for it to work. But I figured we’d go ahead and try. We had nothing to lose but a few beans. So we got a clear glass, some most paper towels shredded newspaper (to hold the towels to the glass), 3 different types of dried beans (kidney, chickpea and white northern) and added a few cm of water.

Take a look at this. After only 3 days, we have evidence of sprouting! See that teeny tiny white tail on the center bean? That’s the sprouting going on.


And after 1 week, we have pretty decent sprouting going on. Well, at least from the kidney beans and the chickpeas. The white northern beans didn’t seem to take to sprouting at all. We did plant a few anyway. Maybe they need soil instead of just water. This picture is a little dark, but you get the idea.


Today, after deciding it probably isn’t a good idea to keep them out of soil indefinitely, we decided to try and plant them into different containers. 3 beans went into test tube like containers, hopefully to watch the roots grow, and a few others went into bowls. Since we don’t really have holes for proper drainage, we added some tiny rocks to the bottom of the containers, hopefully to allow some drainage to occur.



Who knows if we will have success actually getting shoots, but it will be really cool if we do.

It’s pretty weird. I mean, I cook with dried beans all the time. I never really thought about them still being a viable plant. I mean, sure I have a biotechnology degree, and sure I know a bean is a SEED. But actually having it come alive after being packaged up, sitting on a store shelf, then sitting in my pantry waiting to be eaten, it really is a crazy thing to make it start growing again!

Who knew that life could be started in my kitchen. And I’m not talking about the moldy kind of life in my refrigerator!

We’ve got roots and shoots!!!!
February 7, 2008 by growinginpeace

I can’t wait til my kindergartener gets home. We knew we had roots about two days ago, but now we’ve got roots AND shoots. I hope you can see from the photo, the middle tube is holding the bean with the shoots coming out of the top. I have no idea if we shouldn’t have planted it so deeply, but it is making it’s way up to the top.


I’m so excited about it. Oh, and by the way, our “test tubes” used to hold bath salts. I’ve been saving the tubes and rack for about a year, waiting for this very project.

They keep growing and growing….
February 21, 2008 by growinginpeace
Here’s the latest picture of 2 beans we started with. I’m not sure what to do with them now…transplant them into bigger containers and then see if we can’t plant them outside and see if we can’t really get a bean plant started or not. I’m not sure. I wasn’t planning on growing kidney beans or chickpeas. I don’t even know if I’d want to eat whatever grew. Apparently I need to look out for root rot, since there is really no drainage to speak of. Maybe I’ll get some real pots.

It’s been less than a month (25 days to be exact) since we planted them. It’s funny because it’s been bitter cold outside but apparently it’s warm enough inside for the plants.

Kidney bean


We have created new beans!
March 20, 2008 by growinginpeace
Muuwaahhhahaha (or something like that) – we’ve reproduced new LIFE!

Check out this latest development with our bean plant. Our dried kidney bean has reproduced more kidney beans! It was my children who noticed the beans two days ago. It seems that they are intrigued by watching their beans grow! How awesome is this picture?


I feel like such a proud mama of my girls and my new baby beans!

And what about our chickpea plant? Well, it’s definitely getting taller, but we haven’t seen any chickpeas just yet.


On other science news, we have received our book order from school, and what did my oldest bring home?

Bug books


The pictures of these creepy crawlies are just awesome. My eldest seems to really enjoy reading them.

Should I feel bad that my daughter enjoys learning and I have deprived her of learning Hannah Montanna songs like all her female classmates – as we found out last Sunday at a birthday party? All the girls (11 of them) knew the words to one song where it was HM’s goal to get her face on the cover of a magazine (the girls were singing karoake). I felt slightly bad when my daughter asks one of her friends “do you know the words to this song”, because she was the only one who didn’t.

I know I’m creating geeky kids. I can’t help it. I want my kids to be kids as long as they can and my girls to have an interest in things other than beauty, fashion and being a rock star/magazine model. We listen to Laurie Berkner and Veggie Tales – not Hannah Montanna.

Beans, beans the magic fruit…
March 28, 2008 by growinginpeace
The more you eat, the more you …. well you probably know how that all ends.

My grandpa would be very proud of my beans. He used to be very silly and sing me that song when I was a child.

Anyway, I’m not sure when, but I guess we can pick the beans sometime and look inside the pods (I had to tie it to a chopstick, because the plant was bending under the weight of the bean pods):


I can’t believe how well these two beans have done. To see them a week ago, they were really tiny pods. I have no idea if we pluck them if any more will grow, if this plant is capable of producing any more beans. I see no other flowers, so I’m a bit skeptical. I probably should read up on kidney bean plants.

It snowed last night so I can’t transplant this plant outdoors yet. Winter is exceptionally long this year in the Midwest. It usually ends mid-March, but Mother Nature is really playing games with us this year. Where is spring this year????


6 Responses to The Bean Project

  1. Kelly says:

    I found your website because I was searching for how to grow “dried beans”. My preschooler brought home a few beans that he placed in a plastic cup. The teacher surrounded them with a moist paper towel. To my amazement, it certainly is a green plant. I bought soil and a pot and it has survived a week.

    It’s about a foot tall with a few leaves. It bent today when I was watering it so I staked it with a wooden skewer.

    After we transplanted the first one, I did the same thing with a pinto bean from my pantry. It looks different than the first bean plant but I need to transplant this one too.

    I will try kidney and chickpeas next! Who knows, maybe I will get the kids into planting our own little garden full of stuff.

    This is good stuff!

  2. joann says:

    So how are your beans doing today?

  3. theexplorationstation says:

    Beans? Oh yeah…they lasted a while, then we got two cats in May and so the poor plants got chewed on. I never did get around to re-doing them. Maybe next year and I will start a bit later, so that they can be transferred outside before they get eaten.

    I’m not great at growing things. My giant sunflower leaves got eaten by the bunnies too before they got big enough for the leaves to be out of bunny reach.

  4. wow. such a great project you made. you even get to observe the root growth of beans. Thanks for giving a well-researched and informative article.

  5. Kimberly says:

    This is awesome! In my classroom one year I planted beans, etc. and we did an experiment with things that would and would not grow – well, we planted popcorn seeds thinking there was no way they would grow – but guess what – they did – and they did quickly and fully — we did them in plastic bags with the wet paper towels. They ended up growing out of the ziploc bag completely.

  6. Jean Jenkins says:

    We sprouted beans in our house in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the fall, and just left them in a plastic cup with a damp paper towel. They grew leaves, flowers, and beans pods without any soil at all!

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