My Lima Bean Crop
I remember mom in the kitchen. She must have been making soup. She had several bags of different types of beans and peas and noodles on the counter. I asked if I could help. Mom said I could choose some beans and plant them if I wanted to. I guess that was her way of getting me out of the kitchen and from underfoot. I chose a handful of lima beans because they were the biggest. I took my beans outside and found a nice spot in the garden to plant them.
There was sort of an overhang on our house where our piano fit in the living room. The outside of the overhang was in the garden. Dad had the weeds pulled and there was a perfect spot for my little crop. I remembered watching dad plant seeds and did everything I'd seen him do. I made a little trench with a stick and put the beans in very carefully. I took a little board and used it to gently push dirt into the little trench covering the seeds. Dad told me to lay a piece of cloth over the area where the beans were planted. We drizzled water over the cloth to dampen it. I left the cloth for a couple of days keeping it damp all the while. I didn’t know why I did it then but now I realize it forced the beans to sprout.
Once the cloth was removed it took just a couple more days to see tiny green sprouts begin to break the ground. I was so excited. I took my dad to see what the tiny sprouts when he came in from the field. He said I was a good farmer and praised my little plants. Every day when he’d come in after work he would call to me and we’d go check on my little beans. Every day they were taller and taller. In about a week they were so top heavy they all drooped over to the ground. I think they must have drooped because the place in the garden under the overhang was shady. Dad said they might have grown too tall too fast trying to get to the sun. I was in tears. I don’t know what I thought those beans were supposed to do but to me they seemed to have failed.
Dad picked up on my thoughts right away. He didn’t say anything about failure, but instead, without hesitation he ran his big hands across the rows and quickly plucked them all up. He held them sort of like a little bouquet while a smile covered his whole face. Now I know the smile was his satisfaction in saving his little girl’s hurt feelings. He told me we were going to have the best dinner ever and it would be because of my beans!
We went into the house where dad proceeded to call mom in a very excited voice and tell her to gather tomatoes and lettuce. He told her we had a surprise for her. Mom cut the lettuce and tomatoes into our salad bowl. Dad carefully washed my little bean sprouts being careful not to break them. Then he handed them to me. He showed me how to pinch off the tiny roots and helped me break them into pieces about as long as my little finger. Dad took a few in his fingers and held them high above the bowl. He slowly opened his fingers and let the sprouts sprinkle down onto the salad. When he looked at me I knew it was my turn. I copied dad and when the sprouts began to drop onto the salad he smiled at me and told mom I would be a good cook and Betty Crocker had better just watch out!
Dad had been right. It was one of the best dinners ever! I don’t particularly remember how that salad tasted but I do know I’d never seen sprouts on one of our salads before that and I never saw them on one after that either! To this day I don’t care for sprouts but I sure do treasure the memory of growing those and helping mom and dad make that salad!