Magic Scarlet Runner Beans

Today i took a couple of my young, fit friends to go help some much older friends with a bit of gardening. In exchange for our labor, we got a delicious home-cooked lunch and a big bag of magic beans!

The ‘magic’ beans are heirloom Scarlet Runners — raised in the East Bay and harvested by us, on the spot. My friends had grown them for the flowers and didn’t really care for the beans, so we took the pods home.

We shelled the beans on my back porch and were delighted to see that they came out in bright pink and purple colors — almost neon! Such a colorful harvest. These electric hues were our inspiration for dubbing the beans ‘magic.’

I did a semi-scientific experiment for the sprouting process: I put some of the beans directly into pots of dirt, and others i folded into wet paper towels and sealed inside plastic bags, and i waited.

In only a week, the beans were sending up thick leafy stems!

The ones in the paper towels came up first, and the ones in the soil weren’t long behind. I prepared a space in the garden in my backyard along a chain link fence so they would be able to climb it. I also transplanted some into raised beds in other places in the yard.

So far, all the beans have sprouted and are doing well outside. I’m really looking forward to cultivating them throughout the winter season!