I am ready to hail the star of my kitchen garden. and it’s beans! Well one might ask what makes a particular veggie star of a kitchen gardener.
Here are few reasons:
1. The time taken from sowing to harvest should be low enough for a gardener to not lose patience. Beans definitely score very high in that respect. By now i have already seen 3 full cycles of beans, the time taken for one full cycle is roughly 2-3 month’s and there is continuous produce for almost a month and half. One can easily expect a harvest once a week.
Pic taken on 14th dec
Pic taken on 21st Jan
2. The plant should not be nutrient hog. It should be low maintenance, should grow well in pots with no chemical supplements. Beans fits the bill just fine. I normally grow 2-3 plants in 15 ltr pots. Also this particular plant in the container is growing in bright shade and doing perfectly fine even without a single day of direct sunlight.
3. Should not be very prone to diseases and pests. In my experience till date, not even once my beans plants has been attacked by any pests.
4. The produce should commensurate the amount of the effort.The below picture is ample testimony to that. Also the produce is very well spread over a period of time giving very less scope for wastage.
In addition to all these advantages, it also has few more plus points like:
5. It’s easy to save seeds from beans plant. So, the investment in seeds is only one time. The saved seeds have given me near 100% germination and plants are healthy.
6. Beans are legumes, which means they have the capability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere helping make your soil fertile.
7. The beans grown in the garden taste so much better than the ones in market. You can almost tell the difference even with the cooked ones.
So, go ahead and sow some beans, they normally don’t require transplantation and can be sown directly. I am not sure if there is any specific season in which they should be sown. They have done well in almost every season in my garden(Bangalore). The only other veggie i can think of which fits most of the criteria’s mentioned above is palak. If you are looking for sustainability from a veggie garden, then it’s hard to miss these two.