Nine days ago I placed small seeds in row, covered them with two inches of soil and spoke a quick prayer. Each day, as I was out checking the garden, I would look to see if there were any signs of life for those beans. It can be a tense time, waiting for the seedlings to emerge. I found myself questioning whether or not I planted them at the right depth. I wondered if they were getting too much water. Or too little. I wondered if the seed would not germinate. Yesterday, though, I started to see signs of life. Small, quarter sized cracks in the soil. As if something was pushing up from below the surface. That’s exactly what was happening. This morning when I went out to water the garden I found a number of bean seedlings emerging from the hard soil.

Some of the seedlings were barely visible except for a small green stem poking though a crack of soil. Others had poked through and were almost ready to completely emerge. (They come up like an upside down “U” with the leaves still underground. It’s as if the stem is checking their surroundings to see if it is safe for the leaves to be exposed.) A few of the seedlings are fully emerged and standing tall.

It’s quite a relief to see the been growing, but I know that there is a long road ahead. Now that they are exposed, they are far more susceptible to insects, animals, and diseases. The again, the beans growing above the soil is the whole point of growing beans. You could never expect a harvest if the seedlings never emerged from the soil. Sure, there are only a small number of problems that they might face down there, but the seeds need to extend out of the soil. Yes, there are lots of potential problems, but if they do not take the risk of facing those problems, they will not mature.

At this point, I’m only interested in mature bean seeds. I would rather take my chances in learning how to prevent disease and insect attacks, then spend my time watching a “safer” patch of unbroken soil. I’ll spend the next 50 days wondering if I’ve chosen the right thing. But I’m sure that the moment that I can stand in the garden and snap a bean of of the plant and pop it right into my mouth, I will know I made the right choice.


[editor’s note:  Thank you to my lovely wife for pointing out my error.  Bean and “Been” are not the same  word.  Apparently I shouldn’t post anything before I’ve had my first cup of coffee.  I apologize for the  poor grammar.  I hope it didn’t bother anyone too much.  I’m a dork.]