Cultivating Wisdom from Broad Beans: Nature's Classroom

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

Broad beans, those seasonal treasures adorning the store shelves, transport me back to a year when I ventured into the world of bean-growing, unearthing three valuable lessons along the way.

Autumn was the beginning, as seedlings nestled into the earth, gradually growing to a remarkable four-foot stature.

Everything followed nature's script.

Seeking deeper understanding, I dived into plant biology, discovering fundamental truths that underpin growth. Seeds, swaddled in warmth and moisture, sprung to life. Young sprouts relied on their seed's energy stores until they could make their own food through photosynthesis, a marvel orchestrated by the green pigment chlorophyll in their leaves.

The stems, beyond their support role, acted as nature's conduits, channeling water, nutrients, and glucose between roots and leaves.

The pinnacle of the journey was the blossoming phase, where pollination unfolded, laying the groundwork for new beans. The flowers flaunted their male and female components, with the stigma atop the pistil playing matchmaker for pollen.

Here's the revelation: Pollination within the same plant is self-pollination; across different plants, it's cross-pollination, mirroring nature's diversity-driven dance seen in animals too.

Bees, my partners in this endeavor, cross-pollinated my beans, resulting in bountiful antioxidant-rich produce, a gift to immune and nervous systems.

This bean-growing escapade illuminated three insights I will always be grateful for:

Reflecting on the growth process fosters a newfound appreciation for fresh produce while shopping.

Like plants, we humans should rely on fresh natural food for nourishment.

Timing matters: Gather the beans as soon as you fetch the ladder, otherwise, you too may lose your bounty to opportunistic possums!

In this simple tale of broad beans, nature's classroom reveals intricate lessons, reaffirming our place in its grand design.


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