Remember those beans you helped me plant when you were here? First we scratched up the dirt and mixed in the chicken manure. This was to make sure that when the seedlings started growing the dirt would be nice and soft for their little roots, and they would have good things to eat (the chicken poop).
Next we put the bamboo grid on the first garden bed. The grid had sixteen spaces, a square foot each. Into each space you put three rows of three seeds each. I followed behind you and poked each seed into the dirt with my planting stick. When we finished that bed we went on to the second one, and then the third.
The sun was hot, and we were sweating, and your back hurt from bending over for a long time, but we persevered.
Nine seeds x 16 squares x 3 garden beds = 432 seeds…and every one of them sprouted! Now each of those 432 plants is giving dozens of green beans, which contain the young seeds to make future plants grow. And every time I pick a bean, the plant thinks \”I\’d better hurry up and make more seeds before the weather turns cold!\” So it puts out more flowers, which turn into more beans for me to pick.
We\’re having an avalanche, a hurricane, a tsunami of beans.
I wish you were here to help me deal with it.
Just think–all those bright and tender beans for us to eat from now until next summer, and to share with others (I\’ll bring you a big basketful when we come for your birthday). And all we did was stick a bunch of seeds into some dirt. We didn\’t have to put in chemical fertilizers to feed the plants, because the hen poop did that job, and we didn\’t have to spray herbicides because the plants grew so close together that the weeds couldn\’t get any sun, so they never sprouted.
I don\’t know whether you will want to grow your own vegetables when you are older. But I hope that you\’ll remember how generously the earth rewards us if we show her a little kindness. And I hope that you will always pay attention to your food, and to where and how and by whom it was grown.
Lili (Lali\’s nom de grandmere)