What You’ll Need:
- Some plantin’ beans!
- A pot/old yoghurt tub or similar
- A few clumps of old dirt
- A cripplingly dire attitude towards gardening, based on a wealth of negative past experience (optional)
When Dion and I moved out together, he didn’t have the best money smarts (he’s come a long way since.) In our first year of living together, I was frequently afraid he’d spend all our money on a magic bean scam. Whenever he wanted to make a significant purchase I didn’t agree with, I’d waggle my finger warily and say, ‘Magic beans, magic beans!’
That said, growing beans is my number one diverse health tip. Physical health, mental health, emotional health, financial health, relationship health… Magic beans.
I’m generally a big fan of growing your own food. Despite many of the above reasons, it’s incomparably healthier and tastier than food from the grocery store. I’d very much love to have a permaculture yard in the future. So would Dion. But after a couple of black thumb incidents with plants gifted to him, he’s been scared to garden ever since. I’ve seen a fair few people fall into this mindset, and beans are a guaranteed cure.
For this date idea/general bonding experience, all you need is a pot (something like an old 2kg yoghurt tub with a hole in the bottom works just as well), some dirt, and some beans! You can buy a packet of bush beans for roughly $2 from any gardening store. And once you start, it’s immensely easy to save a few pods for next year. Theoretically, you’ll never have to spend money on beans again.
Fill the tub with dirt. Plonk in the seeds as per the packet. Sprinkle with water when they look a little dry (and you’re not due for excessive rain). That’s it. Beans.
They’re very forgiving with dirt quality, as their roots literally produce their own nitrogen as fertiliser. This has the added benefit of making your soil more conducive to growing other foods, once the bean bug’s got you good. Other easy starting crops are radish, sunflowers, mint and most herbs.
I feel like it’s important to note: I’m not generally big on veggies. But the eye-widened stare on Dion’s face when he tasted his first home-grown bean easily validated why I’m so pro-gardening. Freshly picked, they’re sweet, crisp and flavourful.
Prepare to be stunned by weekly glow ups.
This is something you can try whether you live with your partner or not. In fact, it’s likely even more fun if you don’t. You can split a bag o’ beans between you, and have a bean race. As they’ll grow pretty much anywhere, it’s interesting to see which conditions help them grow best. It also ensures you both take ownership and pride in your respective harvests.
Another major draw is when you have a chronic illness (or even just the flu) you can literally just pop some beans in the ground and ignore them, crawl out of bed in a fortnight and be greeted with a bunch of happy saplings. It’s nice to have a rewarding presence in your life that isn’t based on instant gratification but is still remarkably easy. And good for you in so many ways.
Grow yourself some magic beans.